Farm Machinery and Saltbush Plains (IR)

Boolcoomatta Station, South Australia, 29th March 2015

Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

We were due to go for a drive later so we needed to consider which vehicles to drive in

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

but first there was some farm machinery to contemplate.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

Marvels of modern technology whatever it was they were used for.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

This must have been a relatively recent one judging by the tyres.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

Here we have a template for making and repairing wagon wheels.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

… and the rim of such a wheel lying against the fence.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

This looks like the Swiss army knife of agricultural contraptions

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

and this is the shearers quarters where we were staying (although to be precise you are looking at the kitchen and common room).

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

Somewhat later we took off and for a while dark matter invaded the sky.

In the last post there was an eagle sitting on a rock.  This is not the same eagle though.

She has a puzzled expression on her face, wondering how a Steller’s Sea Eagle can suddenly be transported from the sea north of Japan to the middle of Australia and at the same time lose what colour she did have.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

And now, looking out from Dome Rock, everything loooks more normal

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

and the plains are flat

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

and they stretch endlessly

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

in many directions.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

Occasional features pop to the surface, perhaps as some kind of mineral lode.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

At White’s Whim and Well there are many relics of the past to consider.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

The mighty highway known as the Wiperaminga Track stretches out towards The Saddle

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

and from the same place, another snatch of saltbush country.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

Here we are now at The Saddle

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Boolcoomatta Station, Dome Rock, Infrared, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, White's Whim and Well

and somewhat further on, this is a little glade of native fruit-bearing trees of great value whose name I forget.

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Dome Rock

Boolcoomatta Station, South Australia, 29th March 2015

Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

Some time after breakfast we headed off along the Kalabity Track and the Dome Rock Track.  Here is a view of some salt bush country with even some hills in the background.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

We stopped at the Dome Rock Copper Mine, in production from 1908 to 1969, producing 250 tonnes of copper over that period.  This trench was used in processing the ore.  First they crushed the ore and separated it into piles.  Then they pumped acidic water from the bottom of the mineshafts over the piles.  This caused copper to separate out in solution at the bottom of the piles.  That liquid was then removed to a concrete vat and combined with ribbon iron to form a copper cement.  Transport costs were high from such a remote location so this allowed them to transport a more concentrated copper product.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

I haven’t tried to present an overview of what the mine would have looked like because in many ways there is not a lot left.  One unfortunate event that happened shortly after Heritage Australia purchased the property was that former farm workers or managers stripped the mine site of metal to sell as scrap.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

A few of the rocks lying around spectacularly show the presence of copper.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

The whole area is very geologically rich, part of a large geological entity called the Curnamona Province.   This includes Mt Isa and also the Broken Hill lodes which are the largest accumulation of lead, zinc and silver in the world.  For example, there was a side road to a working gold mine on the way in to the homestead.

The rocks in the region are 1.7 million years old, then buried to a depth of 15 to 25 kilometres and subjected to great heat and pressure, before rising to the surface again due to mountain building events.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

These last two stones were cemented into a structure at the site.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

The Day Shaft, the main shaft at 220 feet deep (66 metres) is still there though boarded over and you can walk over the top of it and peer down though of course there’s not much to see down there.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

We went further on to Dome Rock itself.  I thought that was an interesting rock structure on the top and then I realised it was an eagle.  I changed to a long telephoto lens just before the eagle flew off but couldn’t get a shot in focus.  Then I realised I’d accidentally knocked the camera into macro mode.  Ah well, you can’t win them all.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

Here is our little group:  Myself, Jenny, Ingret, Jacqueline and Boris.  (Photograph by Boris).

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

From Dome Rock, the countryside stretches away, very flat.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

Next we visited White’s Whim and Well.  This is the remains of the well, used to provide drinking water for cattle.  Someone had to live out here for many months of the year to operate it.  The well was dug by hand to a depth of about 25 metres (82 feet).

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

A horse walked around a capstan to draw the water up.  This is the yoke for the capstan.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

We proceeded along the Wiperaminga Track and this is the saddle between the Wiperaminga and Eremophila tracks.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

Kangaroo footprints in the sand.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

After dinner and after the sun had gone down, we returned to the woolshed.  This is Mawson’s wheel with the homestead and the stars in the distance.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel Inside the woolshed by night.

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Australia, Boolcoomatta, Dome Rock, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, South Australia, Travel

This was our final night for the workshop (though this is not the last post).

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