Before I write the post for our trip to Lyn’s Farm (Lough More), I want to add something that I learned (and found interesting) when we visited Kings Park Botanical Garden.
The Aboriginal People recognize six seasons.
- Birok: December to January
- The first summer: warmer days are cooled by afternoon sea breezes. Nyoongars would burn the land to improve grazing patters for animals (game) and increased mobility through country.
- Kambarang: October – November
- The landscape becomes carpeted with a rainbow of wildflowers. Grass-trees start to bloom. Reptiles are out of hibernation and make for good bush-tucker.
- Djilba: August – September
- During the second rains many large birds are nesting on their eggs. Wattles and other flowers come into full bloom – the star of a massive flowering explosion in the south=west. Yongas (kangaroos), Waitch (emu) and koomal (possum) were popular foods during this season.
- Bunuru: February – March:
- The second summer and the hottest time of the year with little to no rain. This was traditionally a good time to live by the coast, rivers, and estuaries. White flowering gums such as Jarra Marri are in full bloom.
- Djeran: April – May
- The autumn season and time for marriages and courtship ceremonies. Fish, frogs and turtles were eaten. Yorgas ((Nyoongar women) collected the red Djridje seeds. Several banksias start to flower.
- Makuru: June – July
- The first rains – hibernating frogs break through the soft soil, and hope towards water holes. Traditionally this was a good time to migrate inland.
Now for our trip to Lyn’s farm.
We took a leisurely, scenic drive to the farm. On the way to there stopped at a Sunday market in Mundaring and at a bakery to buy bread.
Jan showed us the pipeline, which we could see running all along the side of the road. C. Y. Conner designed it. He was Irish man who came from New Zealand, but Australia claimed him. Many people ridiculed him because the water did not reach its destination by the time he said it would. He was devastated and actually committed suicide before the pipeline was completed. The pipeline turned out to be an amazing engineering feat built about the turn of the 20th century. It still pumps the water from Mundaring to Kalgoorilie, which is 600 km. The original pipeline actually took the government’s whole year’s budget to build it. The pipeline is still in use today.
We stopped for a few minutes on the banks of the Avon River in town of Northam. By the way, the Russian man who flew around the world in an air balloon took off from Northam, made it around the world, and finally landed back in Northam.
We arrived at Lyn’s house, which is a lovely brick home on her 5,500-acre farm, which produces 3800 acres of hay. They process up to 6 to 7 thousand tons of hay each year. They also have 600 acres running sheep (a little over 100 sheep). The rest is rocky hills and land down along the river, which can’t be cultivated).
Darren took us for a ride around the farm.
How lucky could we have been? There were a couple of kangaroos right on the road in front of us. I was so excited about our first sighing of kangaroo in the wild. Lyn said it was unusual to see them out in the middle of the day. What fun.
They have over $800,000 of investment in equipment, which is only used for hay and over $500,000 of equipment that can be used for other projects.
The hay is sold to Japan to feed cows for the dairy industry. Darren explained why Japan buys hay from Australia, but I am not sure I understood. The Japanese prefer whole milk instead of powdered milk. I am not sure why the Japanese don’t have the hay to feed their cows. He may have said it is because of the climate in Japan. The cows had to be moved from outside to inside for feeding during the colder climates. This process of moving the cows from outside to inside led to lower milk production.
I think it was sometime in the 1980’s that they discovered the benefit of Australian hay for their cows.
Jan, Lyn, and I took a walk down by the Southern Brook. First we collected some wood for the fireplace.
We walked along the brook for while.
The water contains salt because the original vegetation had been cleared in the past. The plants (trees and bushes) would have used the water and because they are not there anymore, the underground water level has risen. Therefore, they need to keep the lambs away from the brook because the salt water would kill them.
Lyn took me on a tour of the farm equipment. I climbed up into the Gleaner.
These are Canola seeds used to make Canola Oil. They may be saving these to re-seed.
Lynn also explained some of the sheep shearing process and showed me the equipment. The sheep shearing is done in April. I wish we could have seen that.
On the way back to the house we took a short cut and climbed over the fence.
I saw a few of these adorable Willy Wag Tails. They actually wiggle their tales.
Lyn’s son (Darren), daughter-in-law (Lesley), and a young man from Denmark (Thomas) who works on the farm joined us for dinner. Her grandson Dylan also came over for a while. I had an absolutely delightful time with them.
It was a wonderful, interesting, fun-filled day.
Day 2 at the farm and going back to Perth:
After breakfast we drove over to Darren’s and Lesley’s House. On the way we watched them cutting the hay.
We had another lovely visit with Darren and Lesley. While we were there, the debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was being broadcast on their TV. Rose and I have been so glad to not be in the U.S. at this time, but we did watch some of the debate. Disgusting!!
Darren showed us his vinyl record collection and played part of an old Bob Dylan album for me.
We took different roads back to Perth. We stopped in Goomalling. There were some dome silos there. They seem to be made from fiberglass.
I am not able to name various crops as we pass them. Jan and Lyn showed me the canola crop. If we had seen them before the flowers turned into seeds, the fields would have been filled with beautiful yellow color. Canola crops are planted for the seeds and also used to replenish the soil.
On the way to Calingari we passed some ant hills on the side of the road.
When we got out of the car to see the ant hills, I more clearly noticed the surface of the road. It is composed of crushed blue metal on tar. It was smooth driving surface.
We stopped in Calingari at the Five Roads Café. Café had been built-in 1937. It was a very pleasant place to stop for a rest. We shared a treat and I had a delicious mug of mocha.
We also stopped to look at the post office and general store.
Then we stopped in New Norcia to have a picnic lunch by this beautiful White Gum tree. We saw this parrot in the tree. The lavender bush was beautiful.
New Norcia is Australia’s only monastic town. The mission was started by Dom Rosendo Servado who was trained at the Monastery in Samos. Jan, Rose, and I had each individually visited Samos when we walked the Camino de Santiago.
There used to be a seminary for Benedictine monks and girl’s Catholic high school on the site. I think this is the building for the seminary.
We visited the church…
…the information center, and art museum.
I read the information at this site. The story is such a parallel to the story of what we did to the Indigenous People in the U.S.
Before we returned to Perth, Lyn took us by the area where she grew up, Caversham. We drove by the school she attended. We also drove by the home of her grandfather which is now used as an event place for weddings and other events. It was beautiful.
We are so blessed to have Jan and Lyn take us these sites. Our stay in W.A. has just begun.