We’re travelling through outback Queensland on our way further south ….. I do enjoy finding myself in a place that has, up until that moment, been familiar only through the Qld news. The main attraction in Barcaldine is “The Tree of Knowledge” which has been preserved and now forms part of an elaborate sculpture. When we visited last year I was enthralled by the whole structure, especially the hanging pieces of timber which move, representative of the manner in which a tree’s leaves move. This time I paid particular attention to the preserved roots of the tree which are visible under glass as you walk around the tree – they are lit by floodlights and if I had thought about it we should have had a look at night. There are lots of photos of this particular sculpture and, important though it is as part of our history I am including a some pictures of the road just north of Barcaldine. Long and straight like many of our outback roads there were several mobs of cattle feeding in the ‘long paddock’ along the stock route. They were being attended by modern day drovers, often on motorbikes although there are still some horse riders.
The next day we travelled onto Blackall after a visit to the Barcaldine Botanical Walk which we found useful for confirming the identification of a few plant species and a pleasant morning stroll. We camped at Blackall for the night so we could take some time to enjoy the sculptures around the town as well as take a tour of the historic steam driven Wool Scour.
Brachychiton rupestris or Bottle tree is used extensively in Blackall as a street tree. Outside the Living Arts Centre is a Bottle tree sculpture.
The Wool Scour tourist venue would not be complete without some sheep grazing in the grounds. Apparently they started off with some Merinos, a breed with which we are all familiar, but a neighbouring Dorper ram got through the fence and now they have a small flock of Dorper X Merino. The most recent addition to this flock was born on the same day as the new Prince of Cambridge. “Prince” has the colouring and fleece of a pure Dorper, due to the aforementioned ram getting through the fence again.
This is the magnificent steam engine which runs the wool scour – a very quiet piece of machinery which is beautifully maintained.
The next day we drove onto Lake Bindegolly where we have a delightful bush camp and have been enjoying some very beautiful birds as well as the peace and quiet. There is not much traffic on the road from Cunnamulla to Thargomindah and we’re quite a distance from the highway.
This male Crimson Chat is not fully coloured – they are extraordinarily bright. There were quite a few about during our morning walk and we had a good opportunity to watch this Major Mitchell cockatoo feeding on Acacia seeds – very pretty cockatoo and their call is not as harsh as the Sulphur Crested with which I am much more familiar. We’ve enjoyed watching Black Honeyeaters, Singing Honeyeaters, Orange Chats and White-winged Fairy Wrens.
So, its been a good start to our travels. We’re heading off towards Sturt National Park tomorrow – new territory for us with the possibility of seeing birds we have not yet seen.