Another Country Diary gumboots
Another Country Diary

Week of 7 to 12 October '02

The daisies look so attractive that I hate mowing them. When I've only the weekends for garden work there's not much choice. I can't leave them for a few more days then mow, they get cut just at the same time as I'm able to appreciate them. It actually disturbs me because I've tried to document this for years. I like the lawn mown (or not so long that it wets your socks to walk through it) and there's no natural grass cropping animals to keep it short. So ...

Scene 120: [EXTERIOR: Garden ]

Lawn Mower enters from screen right. It cuts a neat path through the white daisies. The hard exhaust sound drifts off into a mix of birds, kids playing and other mowers in the distance.

Circus Royale truck after a high windAnother roadside attraction? On Tuesday as I drove to work in gusty winds, the car was really getting pushed around on the flat before the Bungendore hill. When I came home in the twilight I saw this truck on its side. I took a couple of sad pictures in the rain the next morning (this larger one particularly paints the dismal scene).

I didn't hear if anyone was hurt, but there were no skid marks so I suspect a slow speed 'tip over' in the wind.  The truck was gone by the end of the day. The circus is in Queanbeyan for the school holidays but without kids to take anymore, I get to miss out on circuses.

I've been chasing off the single grey heron again that thinks we've cut back the reeds just so it can eat more goldfish. Now that I'm not home in the day, it can fish in peace unless the dogs venture into the back yard. There's still lots left so I don't know how successfully it it fishes. It's a bit deep and the bank is a bit steep for it if it wades and stabs. Maybe it  swoops from the bank. It's always high on the bank when I scare it off. When the egret was there, you could see the fish heads left behind but I can't see this heron has left any.

redball and medicThe dogs have ended up with a couple of the red foam balls that we used as promotional gifts at the office. I walked past this one a few times sitting in the orange/red flowers of red medic that makes up our 'rough' lawn. Then I gave up and got the camera.

I like wooden roof framingI like wood framed houses. I really, really like wood framed houses. At least while they're still just the wooden frames. It's something  about the good feeling of a 'home' being built (but it could just as easily be about the traditional barn raising). 

Maybe it's the skeletons I like because I loved the wooden row-boat frames my father made, and the regular patterns of the balsa wood skeletons of model planes. Those rubber band and later ether powered planes we made as kids were still special to me even when covered with tissue paper and 'doped'. You could still see the warm struts and shapes inside through the translucent paper. It's also something to do with pattern and repetition.

I've been photographing again for the NSW Nats website and saw some likely candidates for the request for  'scenes of rural/urban development' at Weetalabah Estate just outside  Queanbeyan. The first day I went it was raining but I showed them some angles and went back today to shoot in sunshine. The estate was one that Jan did the original promotional advertising for. The first press ads were so successful they sold out before they could make the TV commercials which were clever. Looking at the size of the houses going up and the lack of taste of most of them I despaired a bit but there's enough space between the bad ones so the area looks ok now. The name Weetalabah which was the title of the earlier homestead on that land, we think is Aboriginal for either 'place of wood or place of firewood'. The name fits these wood frames nicely, lets hope that it's not a bushfire that changes the emphasis. 

Now that I know the straggly tree in the old chook yard is a walnut, I've been paying it more attention. The long bare branches, just thin twigs really, are showing leaf buds and what I'm assuming are the flower 'cones'. I can't remember the tree having flowers at all in previous years but I'm focused this time. I'm sure you'll get to see the result.

Jan and I were driving back from a Sunday lunch with work friends, and come over the hill into the valley at around 5.30. As I looked across towards Lake George I could see smoke rising. It didn't look to be enough for a bush fire, but as we drove along the flat it grew more distinct. When we passed the Emergency Services sheds there was no activity so I assumed the smoke was someone burning off. We were no sooner home when the sirens started, neighbours rushing to the trucks and then the Southcare helicopter came over. The smoke was gone but it was obviously serious. Watching the news that night we heard about the plane crash and a death and one person injured.

Six years ago while away in Melbourne, watching the ABC news we heard about three people being killed in a light plane crash in Bungendore. Apparently a wind gust flipped their plane on landing but we didn't know the family involved then. Nat, the pilot in Sunday's crash, owns the local Canturf business, and his younger twin brother and sister were in that crash six years ago. As I write this he is still in a serious condition in hospital. You can't say much about loss like that, but some feelings become stronger when the world around you reminds you that it's dangerous. 
Fred Harden  
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