Saturday, September 16, 2006

Meeting an old friend. Part II


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Denis is a naturalist. His knowledge of plants and birds is encyclopedic. Each morning we would watch the sunrise together from an embankment on the eastern side of the homestead. Then we would check on what was happening. A walk around three sides of the homestead perimeter (the fourth side was inaccessible) would takes us an hour. We would notice each bird, take time to find good light and photograph each bird, identify the plants and, in case a plant was questionable, collect a specimen for verification in a large compendium on plants of the Western Division.

And so the friendship developed.

A week after arrival we set off to drive back to Robertson (pop. 1000 approx) where Denis lives to spend a couple of days in a rural rainforest environment and meet some of Denis's many friends.


Denis (right) with Anni Heino of Mayday and Andrew Ford

Eventually, the time came for Miss Eagle to return to Melbourne. She got up on the Saturday morning and it seemed a good thing to her that Denis should come back to Melbourne. After Denis recovered from this shock, he agreed to come but said he felt like he had been hi-jacked! He went back to Robertson this week. So for just over three weeks we have been together and felt comfortable and tender with one another.

Now, Miss Eagle usually doesn't get this personal on her blog - but, after some of the comments over at The Nature of Robertson, it seemed appropriate that Miss Eagle made comment. Denis has a strong network in Robertson and there appears to be significant gossiping and comment.

So my life has changed dramatically in 2006. Two years ago (two years this week on 22 September) Miss Eagle arrived in Melbourne with her wings severely clipped by a long illness. Now Miss Eagle has lost 40kgs (nearly 90 lbs) since November 2005 due to a gastric lap band. She has gone back to work in local government after she was forced by illness to leave it early in 2002. And now there is an intelligent and loving man in her life who shares many of her interests and values. For Miss Eagle, Providence is stunning.

Meeting an old friend. Part I

Four weeks ago to-day, Miss Eagle departed Upper Ferntree Gully and headed north and west taking a leisurely trip to Broken Hill, an historic mining and pastoral town in western New South Wales. As has been explained in previous posts, she was off to participate in God Outback, a desert retreat organised by her friend Ian Robinson from Perth.

Now, Miss Eagle had been corresponding - with increasing frequency - with Denis from The Nature of Robertson for many, many months. If you have been a regular reader, you will know that Denis has had quite a battle with lymphoma. It seemed to Miss Eagle, dear Reader, that, after his trials and tribulations, with stem cell transplants etc. a good holiday with a spiritual basis might be a good idea. Denis baulked at what might be involved in the spiritual side of things but your Miss Eagle assured him that there was plenty of room in the desert to go for long walks if it was all a bit much. Anyway, Denis decided to come and as the day of departure - for him this meant by train from Sydney - he was quite excited about the whole idea.

So it was that Miss Eagle turned up at the railway station at Broken Hill sometime just before 7pm on Monday 21 August to meet someone who had become an old friend sight unseen.

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The train was late so Miss Eagle had to cool her heels here.

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At the front of the station are these wonderful murals.

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Here is the train bringing Denis arriving at 7.50pm
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And so out to The Nine Mile for God Outback

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Desert blooms - 2


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The Desert blooms

This enamel bowl of fruit was on the table when we arrived.
When it came to Miss Eagle's first turn on the roster, we decided to eat in.
To make things nice and festive Miss Eagle picked wild flowers for table decoration.
She placed gum leaves around the fruit bowl.
Below, she selected a large piece of white quartz,
put it on a large glass plate,
surrounded it with gum leaves, and placed some
tea lights around it.
(She had thrown these in the car, in case....)

Below are a wild species of portulacae which grows

around the homestead at The Nine Mile and it sits

comfortably with what may be a bracken fern in a saucepan

The first day of God Outback - Part 3 - Acacia Vale

Skylights, Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale

View from the Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale

View from the Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale



Wool Press, Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale


Tank (this is what dams are called in The Western Division)

The first day of God Outback - Part 2 - Acacia Vale

Tank Stand, Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale
The Nine Mile

Pens, Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale

Remains of rock garden, Acacia Vale

Sorting/Classing Table, Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale

Interior, Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The first day of God Outback - Part 1 - Acacia Vale

Where does one start?
Miss Eagle drove to Broken Hill via Bendigo, Swan Hill, Mildura and Wentworth.
Photographs all the way. The photos en route will come later.
The photos taken at Acacia Vale, a part of The Nine Mile will begin.
Pages, photographs out of history.
Diny at the water trough at Acacia Vale,
The Nine Mile

Shearing stands, Acacia Vale, The Nine Mile


Interior, Shearing Shed, Acacia Vale, The Nine Mile

Shearing Stands, Acacia Vale, The Nine Mile

Wool pack stencils, Acacia Vale, The Nine Mile

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