Tuesday, February 02, 2016

BUSHFIRES near KYNETON

Kyneton although farming land does have a lot of bushland/forests especially on the hills. About a month ago there were fires during the heatwave. These were 10 to 15 kms away from the township.
We drove by the area last Sunday without knowing where the fires were and then as we turned a bend, the evidence of the fire was around us. It travelled from the forests to the roadway as you can see in these photos.
The fires closed the main road from Kyneton to Revesdale. 

If you look closely to the trees on the hill, you will find that they are now just twisted silhouettes. 



It was just before the burnt out paddocks that we noticed literally hundreds of kangaroos grazing in farmland paddocks. We didn't realise until we came across the charred paddocks and forest that they had come down from their now black habitat to feed. It was quite an amazing site to see so many kangaroos in one area, many with young in their pouches.

You lookin' at me?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

WITH EACH TURN OF THE PEDAL

It's a whole new experience here - I see so many pieces of history that I never knew existed.
Saturday I rode with a local cycling friend. I said I wanted to completed an 85 kms circuit that took us up the Burke and Wills track through a location of Spring Fields - Mia Mia. Neither of us were prepared for the bit of Australian aviation history that we stumbled across. Here in central Victoria, the very first flight in an Australian built plane took place. It is a most unsuspecting place that such an historic event would take place.  Like the Wright Bros, Wilbur and Orville who were from farming areas, John Duigan and his brother Reg built a similar bi-plane and flew the craft on their family property of Mia Mia just about 35 kms from Kyneton.

Along this lonely quiet stretch of road, a monument stands, to mark a very significant piece of Australian aeronautical history. John Duigan flew the first Australian plane built with the help of his brother Reginald.
Just about half way into our 80 kms ride we stopped to take in a little bit of Australian history.
Along with the plaque was a pictorial showing John Duigan's first flight. His latter history in the aeronautical field is most significant. Check it out on Wikipedia where I was able to lean more about John and Reg.
John Duigan sits in the biplane he built and like the Wright Bros,  was a pioneer of flight.

I wonder what new pieces of local history are around the corner to surprise me next?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Horses on the Horizon

My morning bike rides excite the senses - smells, sounds, scenes.
This particlar morning was overcast, a little chilly for mid summer morning but that's the Victorian Central Highlands for you. It's all new to me, no cars, no traffic lights - just the fresh air and the smells of the country.
On the horizon I saw three horses. One took my attention as he did me - he gave me a glance and then went back to grazing.




Sunday, January 24, 2016

A WALK DOWN PIPER STREET

Kyneton has three main streets with two sets of traffic lights, one set being a pedestrian crossing. The main tourist drag is Piper Street. From Melbourne, you enter Kyneton via High St, turning right you enter Mollison St which is the commercial shopping area. Less than 500 metres you turn left into historic Piper Street. We had a friend stay this weekend and took her for a walk down Piper Street.

Piper Street is full of art and craft shops, antique shops with cafes, restaurants, bakeries and two hotels. Many of the buildings retain their original architecture and are built from a mixture of bluestone and/or timber which was plentiful in the mid 1850s as Kyneton grew. One of the original stonemason business operate to this day.

In 2011 the census recorded a population of 6650 however in that time with all the new housing in the outer areas of Kyneton, I'm sure it will have grown significantly. Explorer Major Mitchell opened the area in 1836 and not far behind the first settlers opened the land to farming. The Humanitarian Caroline Chisholm settled here with her family in 1857 - She appears on our stamps and banknotes. You can read more about this amazing woman here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Chisholm

Even the infamous Bushwhacker, Ned Kelly features in Kyneton history as he was tried for "Robbery under Arms" at the Kyneton Courthouse in 1870.

I was reading only today that due to the very low pollution levels in the area that it is very popular for Astronomers to view the southern skies. After riding the bike over the last few weeks here, I can feel my body being cleansed by the fresh country air and Sue says she is not getting any bouts of asthma.












Later in the day we went to see our block of land in Trentham - we had settlement last Friday and now its ours to start building. A few big Gum trees need to go and several smaller trees will be cleared but there are many that we will retain that add a softness to the property. We are told that there is a big old kangaroo that lives by the creek that runs at the back of the block on the government reserve. There are signs that he likes to roam our property in the early hours of the morning and at dusk.
Last visit, we had a group of ducks that also liked to wander through.

I'm excited - this is all ours now!!!!

http://www.piperstreet.com.au/
http://piperstfoodco.com/en/
http://www.vicfarmersmarkets.org.au/market/kyneton-farmers-market


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Rains Came

It was only yesterday morning I noticed that the Campaspe River was just a trickle and the land in the area being parched after weeks of hot summer weather with temperatures reaching 40C plus. This morning the rains came. Hopefully there will be enough to start the river flowing again and add some green to the area.

The rain over Victoria after a heat wave over the last two weeks.
In contrast to the rains, only yesterday I did a short early morning ride (the day's temperature was mid 30s) to beat the heat. I saw the sun rise around 6.30 am through the trees and and in the far distant horizon were the rises of Hanging Rock and Mt Macedon.

To the very left is the rocky outcrop of Hanging Rock and rising to the right  is Mt Macedon.
It was only a few days ago, a friend sent me some very early photos of the town where our block of land is. Trentham's early attraction was their falls, supposedly the highest in all of Victoria. We took a visit to the falls last Friday and like the Campaspe River, it was just a trickle. The creek that runs at the back of our property is Trent Creek and runs into the Coliban River which in turn is the source of the waterfall you see below. It is a major source of water that supplies many of the surrounding towns as it runs to the dams of  the Upper Coliban, Lauriston, and Mamsbury and then meets up with the Campaspe River at Lake Eppalock.
I knew nothing of this little river that begins its 89 km journey starting virtually on our doorstep near Trentham.
Trentham Falls, most probably taken in the early 1900s

The Coliban River that flows through Victoria's Central Highlands - again probably from the  early 1900s.