Macleay Valley

Dragonfiy

Dragonfiy

We’ve settled here in Kempsey now and are discovering what the region has to offer. We have had a few trips to the beaches at Crescent Head, Hat Head and South West Rocks, all of them beautiful and inviting in their own way. I’ve rediscovered the frustrations and relaxation of fishing, and even Glenda has joined in! I’ve had a little success and caught a couple of meals worth of Bass, Flathead and Bream (small meals), and hopefully there will be more to come.

While I couldn’t say we were “busy”, there are things to do around the property. My main task, after looking after the dog, is to mow the lawns. A meagre task you may think, but there are a few acres that need to be mown and I have a variety of boys toys at my disposal to achieve the task, including two ride-on mowers and 3 push mowers. I find the ride-ons a very relaxing way to spend a few hours. One of them even has a cruise control! It’s a bit like painting the harbour bridge – by the time you get to the end, it’s time start at the beginning again.

We wandered up along the Macleay valley to Bellbrook hotel for lunch the other day. This is “real country”, where the dogs wander around the pub at will and the pub grub is a true, old fashioned meal with old fashioned prices and very welcoming service. Sitting in the veranda, sipping on an ice cold beer, looking down on the river and the flood plains, it was hard to imagine being more content anywhere else.

The weather hear is interesting. The temperature never varies, with lows of about 18 and tops of about 28, every day. It can be raining one minute and clear blue skies the next. The rain doesn’t really interrupt much, it just feeds the humidity (which is quite high, speaking as a Melbourne boy). We are in for a bit of a torrent tomorrow I believe, as the tail end of Cyclone Marcia whips its tail at us. We have heard varying reports of between 170mm and 300mm+ in terms of tomorrow’s rainfall. Both sound like a lot to me! We will be keeping an eye on our river on the border, which I am told is the second fastest flowing river in the southern hemisphere when in flood. It is fully expected that our bridge will go under, though I am told that our property has never flooded (I hope this remains true). I’m not sure what this will do for the fishing, other than make it a shorter walk.

The wildlife around here is amazing, especially the insect and spider life. The variety and colour is excellent. There are a plethora of various birds around, but we very rarely see them. There is so much bush and trees for them to hide in, they don’t often come out to be seen, though they are in full voice from sunup. Magpies, butcher birds, whip birds, kookaburras, blue wrens, wagtails, red breasted robins, kurrajongs are just to name a few… My challenge is to capture pictures of them, but I haven’t been too successful to date.

We had a great BBQ with Marie and Steve and friends last Friday at their horse property just down the road. Country hospitality is hard to beat and this was no exception. Great food, excellent company and the odd drink make for a fun evening. Thanks guys! Our turn next…

There’s plenty more to see, and plenty more to experience.

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