Bollon, ballistic birds and bending ears

 

Squeee!!! SQUEEEEEE!!  The kids woke with a start at Moonie yesterday, thinking that we were being invaded by a horde of feral pigs of the kind they had seen on the walls at the pub the night before. We parents were confused and then bemused to find that the racket was coming from a pig transport truck which had pulled up at the roadhouse briefly. Gee those piggies were NOT happy about being on a truck, and BY GOLLY they were letting everyone know! Anyone who has spent time on farms will also tell you that pigs stink. No really, as far as animal poop is concerned, cows and sheep are like lavender, in comparison to porker poop. Thankfully they took the stench with them when the truck moved on again.

We also had a very worrying close call with 1080 bait at Moonie. Not sign posted anywhere, we always keep Luna on lead when we know it’s in the area. Our youngest daughter asked what the “green block” under the tree behind the camper was. Our blood ran cold when we saw it was 1080, probably dropped by a bird underneath the tree. Luna is now on lead for most of the time unless we thoroughly vet the area first!!

We stopped at St George to do some messages and fill up our jerrys with diesel. We are anticipating that some of the areas we will be travelling to, won’t have a BP available, so we carry our own fuel to reduce the likelihood of having to purchase our own. As usual, the Legend attracts attention, and the man refuelling next to us, started talking to Paul about all the signage on the vehicle. He told Paul that a guy he worked with had experienced a mental breakdown last year too, so he was aware of the Black Dog. He happily took a card and said that he would follow our journey on Facebook and share with his mates.

The drive from St George to Bollon was a veritable check list of wild fauna – kangaroos (living and not), wild goats (including a billy and a nanny who looked incredibly guilty as we drove past them), emus, and feral piglets trotting across the road. It keeps the kids entertained, as did spotting the uniquely decorated letterbox “houses” that mark the main entrances to some of the stations we passed.

As we can’t afford to always stay in caravan parks, we are free camping at Bollon on the banks of the Wallam Creek. As you’ll see by one of the drone still shots that Paul took, it’s a popular place. There’s even a flushing toilet! We know you’re smiling right now having read that, but we really do appreciate a flushing toilet as opposed to a drop toilet or digging a hole..hehe

We had at least four people walk by us on the path and comment on what a great set up we have, and how quickly we set up. There is even an older model pop up style Cub Camper in front of us!

We were all entranced by the three emus that came down to the creek about 50 metres from us, and had a drink. Kirstine had never seen how emus drink, so it was intriguing to watch. We haven’t seen any koalas yet, but we heard them growling last night, so we know they’re around. 

Paul decided to put the drone up to get some pictures of the camp, and we were all on “bird of prey” watch as he did this. Damn those birds can move quickly though, and with an utter sense of dread, we watched a falcon appear from nowhere, and tuck it’s wings to a dive towards the drone. Paul had spotted it and was bringing the drone down, but this can’t be done quickly unless he does an emergency stop and makes it fall from the sky – a disastrous concept from 120m above us! The falcon must have realised that the drone wasn’t a food source, however, and pulled out of its attack. The Mavic Pro landed safely, and we nearly hugged it, so happy we were to have avoided a ballistic bird strike!

Having said this, the sunset was took beautiful to miss out on filming, and knowing that the falcon would have put itself to bed, we ventured out into the nearby cemetery to send the Mavic Pro up again for two minutes. It was worthwhile for two reasons – we have some beautiful footage, and everyone in the camp site had seen the drone go up and were standing around watching Paul fly .. 😛

Later Paul and Ziva went to apologise for any annoyance the drone may have caused, and ended up talking to a group of campers (who were not in the least annoyed, but instead fascinated by the drone), about our cause and travels. Kirstine had finished cooking tea by the time they came back, but every couple took one of our cards and was going to look us up and tell their families.

What a day, what an evening! So many conversations and experiences in one day. 

 

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