Monday, 14 November 2011

13/11/11 Day 5 - Redhill-Horsham

Another early start at 5.45 am.  Today's drive was across country that was much more like English arable landscape, than desert.  Farming is the main activity here, and we spent much time driving between wheatfields.  It was a bit overcast, which kept the temperature down a bit and I spent a lot of time considering the colours as the sky varied between blue, and storm cloud grey, changing the colours of the grain crops from golden to sunbleached beige.

After the desolation of crossing the Nullabor, it was good to be back in some greenery, and to encounter small towns with housing and shops.

We passed the town of Iron Knob.  This is a mining town that supplied iron ore to the Australia's steel industry.  Ironstone was identified in the 1840s and from a distance, the hills look like tabletops.  This is because the gigantic electric digger, the "shovellaurus" has reshaped the hills over the decades by the open cast mining technique.  The mine has died since bigger iron deposits have been found in northern Western Australia and apparently only 100 people are now employed in mining in the town.

We parked overnight in another rest area, no toilets or water, but very peaceful in a copse of eucalypts.  There was a wooden picnic table and bench seats which was very weathered and the grain of the wood was badly split.  I spent an hour, drawing a postcard.  This is probably my best postcard to date.  A hexagonal bolt, with split wood, and lots of detailed grain, all split and degraded by constant sun damage.  A very detailed black and white sketch.
Evening sunset over farmland, seen from our van

Rusty bolt in distressed wood.  I drew this without my glasses, so the detail is different to reality!

Distance travelled - 550k

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