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.