Saturday, October 31, 2009

Awakening of Cheerful Feelings Upon Arrival in the Country

We spent last weekend at a family reunion in the small NSW town of Carcoar. If you are fond of hills dotted with sheep and cattle, and you like National Trust listed places, you will love Carcoar; I certainly did.

When my husband's distant relative moved to Carcoar, it was the second-largest town west of the Blue Mountains, second to Bathurst. Its other claim to fame is that it was the first place in Australia where the daylight robbery of a bank* took place, perpetrated by none other than Bold Ben Hall.

Of course, because we are all nerds, we were very keen to see the Blayney wind farm. There is a viewing platform near Carcoar Dam, but it faces east, so morning photographs are a bit difficult.

The towers are about 50m tall and each sail about half that. I found the fifteen windmills simultaneously imposing and beautiful. There is a much more picturesque view of them from Carcoar Railway Station, and from Carcoar Cemetery.

Remains of a farm building built by my husband's distant relative.

Another scene from the family farm, typical of well-maintained grazing land in this area with remnant eucalypts for shade. This farmer, as with most, has been reafforesting his property. I explained to the Twig that in my youth, one never saw young trees on farmland -- only remnant specimen trees, probably left from when the land was cleared a hundred years back. These days, it's common to see belts of young trees along fence lines, thanks to Landcare. Grazing animals and crops do better when sheltered from hot summer winds and freezing gales, and our delicate soil needs protection from erosion, water loss and salinity. The earthwork on the right is a dam. Despite the green grass, this area is in drought. I'm glad to say some rain fell while we were in the area.

Before I get into trouble, I'd better explain that the Twig is on a path through this wheatfield! After his tour of the family farm, viewing various historical relics, the Twig complained of fatigue on his way up the hill to the homestead. Then he met some boys playing cricket, and we didn't see him for three hours...

Note for Sydney travellers: the waratahs are out along the Darling Causeway. If you are up in the Blue Mountains, go and have a look!

* Daylight robbery by a bank, on the other hand, is so common as to be unremarkable.

1 comment:

Onesimus said...

I live just over an hour south of Carcoar.

I recall passing the Blayney wind farm farm for the first time several years ago. I wasn't aware of its existence at the time but for some reason, before it came into sight, I had a mental image of those big windmills. I was totally shocked when the real thing came into view.