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Billabongs and Road-Kill Kangaroo

Lara, Logan and I took a week-long wander through the southwest of Western Australia. I posted a map of the area a while back. On day one of the road-trip, I saw my first kangaroo in Australia. Unfortunately, it was lying dead by the side of the road. We did get to see some other, living, kangaroos later in our trip, in Denmark.

I noticed that lots of people had mounted enormous steel barriers on the fronts of their cars and trucks down south. Probably with good reason. Note the road signs…

Since arriving in Australia, I've seen the word ‘billabong’ in print quite often. I didn’t know what it meant, so I looked it up:

1. A dead-end channel extending from the main stream of a river.
2. A streambed filled with water only in the rainy season.
3. A stagnant pool or backwater.

Still, I didn’t have a clear mental image until we arrived at the tourist park in Nannup. A billabong looks like this…

I take a lot of arm’s length self-portraits. I tried to talk to Lara and simultaneously get a shot of me on the famous Valley of the Giants treetop walk in Walpole.

“It’s not going to work as long as you’re talking to me. You need to look straight into the camera and do your ham-it-up thing,” said Lara.

We did a farmstay in Pemberton at the Pump Hill Farm. We had a great time; Logan especially. He had not only space and liberty to run around outside, but animals and other children to play with. I don’t have any pictures of the latter part of our trip because I only brought one 120MB Compact Flash card for the camera and I burned through that taking QuickTime movies of Logan chasing ducks, feeding cows, and playing with Olivia and her little sister, Charlotte. Here’s a still of Logan and Olivia. Olivia wanted everyone to know (and she communicated it quite clearly) the she was in charge.

Mornings at Pump Hill Farm start with a hayride. Kiddies and parents climbed onto a large flatbed trailer which the farmer pulled around the farm with his tractor so we could give the cows and other beasties of the field their morning hay.

Looking at the previous photo, you may have thought, “Could any image get cuter than that?”

Looking at this next photo, you’ll know the answer is "Yes."

We spent three nights in a little slice of heaven on earth called Denmark. For two of those nights we stayed at the Eaglemont Farm chalets, run by Doug and Jan. I didn’t get a photo of Jan, but here’s Doug.

Doug took me to meet the local permaculture guru in Denmark, David Coleman. I didn’t get a picture of David, but I stand in awe of his knowledge.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 14th, 2003 05:08 am (UTC)
charmed existence
Me too, sometimes.
Feb. 14th, 2003 12:13 pm (UTC)
Your pictures made me very happy. I hope that you and your family are having as much fun as it looks from the other side of the world.

Feb. 14th, 2003 03:57 pm (UTC)
We're increasingly excited about creating a life for ourselves here. My one concern is that my son will grow up speaking Aussie English. Here's a mean-spirited caricature of the lingo by P.J. O'Rourke:
Australians are friendly, very friendly. I couldn't spend three seconds eating my dinner without one of them butting in at the top of his lungs, 'G'day, Mate! Eatin' are ya? Whatzit? Food? Good on ya!' Followed by an enourmous backslap right in the middle of my mouthful of boiled lamb brisket (which is either the national dish or just what everything in Australia tastes like). The Australian language is easier to learn than boat talk. It has a vocabulary of about six words. There's g'day, which means 'hello'. There's mate, which is a folksy combinatin of 'excuse me, sir' and 'hey you'. There's good on ya, which means 'that's nice' and fair dinkum, which doesn't mean much of anything. Australian does have, however, more synonyms for vomit than any other non-Slavic language. For example: 'liquid laughter', 'technicolour yawn', 'growling in the grass' and 'planting beets'.
Feb. 15th, 2003 02:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy

Well, that cute little female friend of his probably is a bad influence then!

Feb. 14th, 2003 01:57 pm (UTC)
Ayers rock?
Fun Photo's!
Are you going to visit the mythic ayers rock?

Don't forget to invest in a digeradoo. One of the most far out sounds on the planet!
Feb. 14th, 2003 03:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Ayers rock?
Hey Bill,

Haven't been to Uluru (A.K.A. Ayer's Rock)yet, but it isn't going anywhere. We'll get there eventually.

Chaswazzer, our car, makes a noise like a didgeridoo when I try to accelerate while driving uphill. It wouldn't be fair to compare little Chaswasser to Spacemonkey, but we do it all the time anyway.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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