Appila Springs

Just a mere 900 million years ago this area was covered by the sea but today it is a beautiful freshwater spring, home to many species of wildlife.

Fred and I sat on rocks about 500million years old, and soaked in the wonderful ambiance, totally undisturbed.  Recent summer rains had replenished the waterhole, and the Dragonflies were making the most of the conditions.  We watched birds having their afternoon bath in the shallows, and listened to the croaking of frogs.  All delicious food for the soul.

In the driest state of the driest continent, waterholes and springs are never to be taken for granted.

Appila Springs is a few kilometers from the township of Appila, and locals have done a fantastic job of putting picnic facilities here without impinging on the peace and tranquility of the area.  A great deal of revegetation has been accomplished also, thanks to assistance from government grants.  My heartfelt thanks to those who have shown this respect to the land.


Everybody’s doing it!

Fred and I took advantage of a mild day, and went off exploring – something we both love to do.  We hop into the car with no real destination in mind, just a vague idea of direction, and let chance lead us along.  And today we hit the bullseye!

We found a wonderful waterhole, filled with plenty of fresh water after recent flash floods, and the whole area was teeming with life: birds, frogs, and insects.  In particular, the dragon flies were going beserk!  The noise from their whirring wings was incredible!  Undoubtedly Spirit is alive and well at this place.  More photos of the area to come……

Not a bird brain but brainy birds!

In the early morning, I like to sit down near the river while my horse grazes nearby.  It’s generally a quiet peaceful way to start the day and I can watch the various birds as they enjoy the small river also.  Downstream, in the high cliff banks, the feral pigeons have their roosts and morning and evenings they fly up to the pipeline where it crosses the river.  From that position they can greet the sun in the morning, and say goodnight to it at the end of the day.  Sages recommend people to take the time to greet the day and bring closure to it , if they seek wisdom.

There’s a man-made structure across the river, and it provides a perfect place for the birds to take their ablutions and have a drink.  These two enjoyed it this morning although sometimes there’s quite a crowd jostling for space.


I was a little delayed in setting out on my evening walk this warm summers evening, and then rounding a bend on my way up the hill, I noticed a large brown snake sliding off the road into the grass.  Not wanting to disturb it or to place my dog or horse into danger, I changed my mind about going up the hill and stayed by the river instead.  It meant I was in the right place to see the moon coming up over the far hills, but it also placed me in the situation of supper for the mosquitoes……the welts are slowly receding.

This is where the term lunatic comes from…….  Still, it’s not too bad a shot, considering I didn’t have my tripod….maybe tomorrow evening I’ll wear better protection from the insects and take my tripod….who knows….but regards of what I do the moon will still come up.  Reassuring that, isn’t it:-)


All over the world, wild weather events are happening.  In Australia, many people have died, and thousands have lost their homes.  It will take years for Queensland to rebuild its infrastructure.  My heart goes out to all people who are experiencing dramatic changes to their lives.  Be courageous.  Know you are not alone.  Out of the chaos will come a different order.  I am heartened by the stories of valour that are emerging and perhaps humanity will understand that ultimately we are not defined by our possessions. 

I’m not swimming that!

This past week has seen rain and storms in my state, and many rivers have broken their banks and flooded towns.  I’m lucky that my home is well above any flood level.  Probably the last time the area was under water was before the last ice age.

However, yesterday I did have a little adventure because of the river.  My terrier accompanied my horse and I out for a short ride up the road, across the river ford.  The water was still under the ford, and even though it was possible for the water to be coming down from further upstream, I deemed it safe to cross as I wasn’t planning to be away for long.  Ten minutes later when we returned, the river was over half a metre high and rising and rushing with great force.  My nearby farming neighbours had driven down to see the flood, and we yelled across the water about my situation.  They gave me instructions on how to negotiate their paddocks and to find my way across to the township several kilometers away where there’s a substantial bridge across the river.  I’d always wondered about a track I could see in the distance….and so here was my chance to find out.  I had a great view from one spot of the river raging downstream – a perspective I’d not otherwise have seen.  The only problem was I had no camera with me!  In fact, because I was only going for a short ride I had no water or other things I usually have in my backpack when I go walking.

So off we went on our little adventure.  At one stage, we had to negotiate very tall grass and so I dismounted and put my terrier on the horse’s rump, and then remounted and put him in front of me.  He likes riding because he can see much further than his little short legs usually allow, and the horse is very accommodating.  Once we’d completed that section, and gone through the last of the gates, I stayed walking to give my mare a rest.  It’s only in the last few weeks I’ve begun riding again so both of us aren’t particularly fit.  And we walked…..then once on a back road, I was met by my neighbour who had brought out a bottle of water for me, and a visability vest to wear on the highway.  Such kindness and thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.  We continued on and once we reached the bitumen road, with more traffic, I took one rein off the bridle and used it as a lead on the dog and walked along the side of the highway……

Luckily, when we reached the bridge, which has a long span, we encountered no traffic on the narrow section.  We didn’t want to have a big semitrailer pass us as even though my horse is generally quiet with traffic there are limits. On the other side was the township and a shady park, so I unsaddled and we rested there for ten minutes.  Halfway home  point!  We sneaked through the side of the township as I didn’t want to encounter dogs rushing out at my little chap and we were finally out on the dirt road heading towards home.  At this point I mounted again, leaving Fred to explore the new surroundings as there’s very little traffic along this section.  A while later, another chap who had heard of my situation, drove out and met me with more water and an offer to give Fred a ride home.  Fred is very loyal and wouldn’t accept the offer, although I was very grateful for the water, having finished the first lot some time ago.  Jim lifted Fred onto Sally for me, and the terrier rode the last 4 kms home.  Altogether, a valiant effort for a little dog, and for an aged mare.

Our ‘short’ ride had ended up a three hour expedition!   Later that afternoon, we went down to the river to take this image and could see the level had dropped a little  from its earlier height but was still flowing strongly.

We’re all taking it easy today:-)