Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Return to Wombat Bend

We first visited Wombat Bend two years ago and you can read about it here. Fortunately, Marianne had behaved herself sufficiently last time for the two of us to be invited back.

It was overcast on the morning after we arrived so the Burrow and billabong were not lit with the same magical light that we experienced two years before.

There had been some changes, but not too many.

The sulphur crested cockatoos were still hanging around. They are quite a large bird and I suspect if you had to eat one, it would be quite a meal.

Fortunately for the cockatoos, I made myself an omelette for breakfast along with some delicious bacon. Traditional Australian bacon has the big oval bit that is Canadian bacon along with the long streaky bit that is US bacon. It is really good.

A misty morning looking to the hills.

Guests at Wombat Bend live in their own building which is very comfortable. It is extremely relaxing and we had no trouble chilling out. I turned on the radio and listened to classical music all day.

After lunch, the sun reappeared. 

Sue puts seed in these to feed the birds.

If you click on the picture to enlarge it, at the top right you will be able to see the burned forest from the 2009 fires. 

The damage from the Black Saturday fires of 2009 is still visible.

There has been more erosion in the creek. On the far bank you can see where some of the wombat burrows have been exposed.

Two of the Airedales having a good time in the water. Sue and Bill are heavily involved with Airedale Rescue and this time there were six Airedales to greet us. If you want to read more about them, then there is a separate blog.

Now this is what I call an effort. Mowing this huge area with this while the regular big mower is indisposed.

Tree trunk charred from the bushfire.

Bill feeds the ducks.

If there is one photo that says it all about Wombat Bend, it is this one. Gorgeous location, gorgeous light and of course, a gorgeous Airedale.

A paper bark tree.

Two years ago, Bill had just out where the foundations of this new 'Studio' which he built it himself. Most of the walls are built from mud brick. The beams are from very heavy solid old timber and required a crane to lift into place.

Interesting dog.

Tile inset into one of the corner posts.

I spent most of the morning reading a book that has just been published about the fires at Kinglake, just a few miles away from Wombat Bend. It's called Kinglake 350 by Adrian Hyland and describes what happened to a local cop that day. It is difficult to imagine the horrors of that day but the above photos will give you an idea.

In an effort to stop the approaching fire, a fire crew set a line of fire designed to impede the progress of the much larger fire bearing down on them. The top photo shows the line of fire. The lower photo was taken just a minute later as they realized that they had to get out of there, really fast.

They managed to get into their vehicle and this is the view through the windscreen as they drove to safety.

If you get a chance, read this book, especially if you live in a bushfire prone area. Most of us are totally unprepared for such an experience. For example, the heat radiation from that second photo would kill you if you were within 400 yards of the fire and not wearing protective gear. 


We went out for dinner to a brew pub in nearby Yarra Glen.

Our friends, Sue and Bill. They are a really fun couple.

The lineup of beers at the pub. They were all good and it was tough making a decision. By the way, the chips are really good here.

Wombat Bend has to be one of the most magical places I have ever been to. Australia looks so good here.

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