A Gift of Flowers – from the Australian Outback…

A wonderful thing about the Australian Outback is the contrasting colours of the deep red soil, a never-ending blue sky and our beautiful wildflowers.

And speaking of beauty, my wonderful partner, Janet (Planet), spends countless hours photographing our wildflowers on our trips to the “interior”.

Um, yes…countless! Some time ago, another beautiful person, Lavinia of Salmon Brook Farms, along with her partner, Rick, planted a memorial garden on their farm in America dedicated to the memory of Janet’s sister, Marion and her father, Archie.

Tragically, Marion lost her life to Meniere ’s disease a number of years ago, and Archie, well Archie lived a wonderful life passing away just before his 99th birthday in 2013. Since Marion’s passing, Janet and her sister have dedicated much time to supporting sufferers’ of this disease through fundraising under the banner “Marion’s Artree” In her most recent newsletter, which you can view on her blog, Salmon Brook Farms, Lavinia wrote… “It has been said by many that gardens link us from the physical to the spiritual”. And crikey, ain’t that just so true… For sure Lavinia and Rick, you are true testament to the motto we love so much! “There are no ordinary moments; no ordinary people; no ordinary lives…” From the bottom of our hearts, thank you… Baz (Big bad), Janet (Planet), and TomO (the wonder boy!), Wanaka, New Zealand

Working with Indigenous Australians…

Anne Beadell Highway

The opportunity to visit an extremely remote and arid part of Australia came my way the other day, an opportunity to spend time in country with a group of traditional landowners and aboriginal elders deep in the desert region of Western Australia.

“The Landy” will be pointed westward travelling deep into the desert region, crossing sand dunes and making tracks as our small convoy travels deep into the desert.

We will make tracks where no other European Australian’s have previously been as much of this trip will be completely across country, no roads or tracks to follow.

They say one door closes and another opens and crikey, isn’t that the truth!

Recently I wrote a piece on “Fate, are you a Believer” after forgoing a trip to climb a 6,500-metre peak in Nepal, but missing the terrible natural disaster that devastated the country following last week’s earthquake; a tumultuous event that has sadly taken the life of many Nepalese people.

I was due to arrive in Nepal last Wednesday, as it turns out the day our son, TomO, broke his kneecap in the school gym.

And yes, he is making a great recovery…thanks!

Mind you when I’m not climbing I am travelling the great Australian Outback, photographing a parched red earth that stretches from horizon to horizon, kissed by a deep blue sky that provides a canopy over our sunburnt country.

Outback Australia

As fate would have it, I received a telephone call from an acquaintance this week, a fellow kindred spirit and outback traveller who is assembling a team of people to assist a group of traditional owners, indigenous Australians, build a structure to house a pump in an extremely remote part of Australia; an area rich in aboriginal history and culture, but rarely seen by European Australians.

It was less than 40 years ago that an elderly couple came in from this desert region after living a nomadic life with no European contact at all. Their’s is a remarkable story and  told in a book The Last of the Nomads” by WJ Peasley.

I vowed to visit this area one day…

Strewth, I’m more excited than a rooster in a hen house and there isn’t a lot of time to prepare so I’d better get cracking – I look forward to sharing the stories and photographs I capture in between wielding a shovel, pick, and hammer!

Photos: Baz – The Landy…