Monday, October 6, 2014

From a car window

I thought the time I spent with the old guy in Nanango would be the highlight of that day but no.  Not much further south along the D'Aguilar Highway I slowed to have a good look at the countryside, beautiful in its stark dryness.  The sky that day was a soft blue and it was complimented perfectly by the pale, pale, dry, dry grass.  I do so wish I were more eloquent.  I'd love everyone to appreciate the beauty of a bone dry land.   Had I not been driving slowly I may have missed this scene.  As it was I just caught a glimpse through the trees and turned around and went back.  This is my favourite shot from my holiday.   To me it says, "This is Queensland."

I took lots of photos of old houses.  This one ranks in my top ten.  I would love to know the history of these houses.  Who lived here.  Who lives here now.  Yes, I'm pretty sure someone is still living in both of them. 


I stopped and took a few more photos out of the car window of scenes that seemed to me to be typically Australian. 


My destination was Laidley, my birthplace and what I call my spiritual home.  Just outside Gatton I came upon Lake Claredon or is it the Claredon Dam?  I'm not sure, I've seen it referred to as both.  Had it been there when I was growing up I would have heard of it but it came as a surprise to me.  It was completed in 1992,  built above the Lockyer Valley to supply water for irrigation.  By mid-2006 the dam was empty due to drought conditions. In January 2011, it was over 80%.  I'd say it was pretty low when I was there but heavy rain was predicted for the following weekend so hopefully it has a bit more water in it now.


Soon the sights became familiar, the rich soil of the Lockyer Valley, the irrigation pipes which don't appear to have changed at all since I was a child and helped my Grandfather move them, sloshing barefooted through the recently saturated mud to drier ground. I sat beside the road and listened to the whooshing sound of the water and relived a few childhood adventures.  Sight and sound.  Each one a powerful memory trigger.  Together there's no arguing.  I never stop myself from revisiting my childhood and on this day the journey was wonderful. 


But not everything is as it always was.  This crop wasn't around back in the day.  I'm sure of it.  I think it is rapeseed, otherwise known as canola. 



14 comments:

  1. I like your new look. I love the old houses, and yes I always wonder at the history. I do the same with people in cars, where they going, who are their family, their dreams, that sort of thing.

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  2. The houses are massive.

    I don't know what the crop is but rape seed is harvested with a combine here.

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  3. Rapeseed is my best guess, Adrian. It looks like other photos I've seen of it but I've never seen it actually growing before. Very pretty crop!

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  4. I don't know how my new look happened, Ginger. It's one of those surprises people like me (who don't really know what they are doing) get when they fiddle around.

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  5. You have captured the essence of Australia very well.It is good to visit places of your childhood. Happy memories.

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  6. As you know I love old buildings and the houses are just wonderful: to look at. I'm not so sure that I'd like to live in one now.

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  7. Those house photos are most haunting and like you I would like to know the stories. What happened and who lives their now.

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  8. How lovely to revisit your childhood like that. It looks very much like rape-seed - we have a lot of it around here - but they shouldn't be harvesting it while it's in flower so I'm confused. Lovely photos, Pauline,

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  9. The houses speak of a better time. It's sad to see them fall into disrepair.
    Change must come. I find the same thing when I return to my childhood home. Much of what was there has disappeared.

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  10. I hadn't thought of that, Red. My thinking has been coloured by my grandparents large home but there were 14 children to house. It grew like topsy as more children arrived. The big verandahs around a lot of old Aussie homes also add to the size.

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  11. Isn't it how memories come... "the whooshing sound of the water..." triggering a childhood adventure. Knowing that something is going to be in a certain place or around a turn in the road. I love the photos. So different than here where I live... but beautiful in it's own way.
    The old homes remind me of The Thorn Birds. Big, with lots of porches and generations of families living their lives in them.
    Lovely post. You can go home again... as long as you keep the memories and allow the differences.

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  12. You have captured the essence of country QLD beautifully here, Pauline!
    That second house is wonderful! I can just imagine it back in the day... It would have been a grand home back then. I must head out to find this one!! If you can remember the road, I'd love to know as I "collect" images of homes and sheds of yesteryear.
    You are right calling it Lake Clarendon as that is what SEQ Water refers to it as. Although, it is also referred to as Lake Clarendon Dam.

    I'm loving your trip photos!!

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  13. Thanks, Liz. I will email you with directions to that house. I think I will go back there next visit and allow more time.

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  14. Yes! You've got it, Farmlady. That house does evoke memories of the Thorn Birds. I always enjoy your comments.

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