Monday, 23 June 2014

Mallee at last

Yesterday we were just about packed and ready to leave home when catastrophe #2 struck. A flexible metal hose leading to a bathroom tap burst and flooded three rooms before we could turn off the mains tap!!

So we spent the next two hours mopping up, replacing the offending hose and lifting carpet so it had a chance of drying out. And then we left. We have no idea at this stage whether the damage is terminal, whether the carpet and vinyl will go mouldy, whether the chipboard flooring will dry out or whether it is an insurance claim. Our family have been left to cope with it all while we just get on with our holiday. There's a lesson here for everyone - turn off the mains water when you leave the house for any length of time. Imagine what the house would have looked like if the hose had burst a couple of hours later!

Today we drove up through Swan Hill and then into mallee country near Hattah. We started to see saltbush and mallee trees on the roadsides, saltpans and lunettes, sandy plains, flocks of Galahs, Mallee Ringnecks feeding on the roadside and sandy tracks tempting us to get off the bitumen. We're starting to feel that we really are on holiday.

We didn't expect to see a plantation of willow trees. It's a project to grow willows to make cricket bats. This plantation was established in 1998 at the appropriately named Wood Wood - they've chosen to plant Salix alba var. caerulea. Seems like the wood from those trees would make a huge number of bats but I suppose they know what they're doing.

Willow plantation, Wood Wood.

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