The Golden Fleece

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We spent the last week in a rather remote property about 50Km north of Clare, South Australia. This is cropping country and April is perhaps the least attractive month to be here. The area is extremely flat, the fields are, at best, sparse stubble from last years harvest or at worst, just dirt and dust. From our yard, it was many kilometres before there was any feature in the landscape worth noting. Our little plot had about 40 sheep left to “graze” on.. nothing really. They relied on hay and oats. We were looking after three orphans lambs, bottle feeding etc, and a menagerie of other poultry, including 11 ducklings. The one piece of landscape interest we did have was a hilly range off in the west which was home to a large number of wind turbines. The other saving grace for the area was the early and late light. I am not sure whether it is the dust or the smoke from the burning stubble, but the evening sun in particular was an amazing gold, stronger than I have ever seen. This, couple with the way sheeps’ fleece picks up rim light, led to some very satisfying photos. I’ve always liked sheep (as a photographic subject I might add) and this combination of golden light and wooly beast made some very interesting photos. I hope you enjoy.

There are more photos to look at from our trip at

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Trawool Shed B&B

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Glenda and I spent the last week and a bit looking after a delightful B&B in Trawool, just south of Seymour, Victoria. This is an area that I’ve never really explored before, other than passing though on the way north. The Trawool Shed is situated a stone’s throw from the Goulburn river. This beautiful, fast flowing river is apparently full of a huge variety of fish, trout, murray cod, redfin etc, but our efforts to liberate them came to nought.

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The B&B itself is a lovely little green oasis, with spacious manicured gardens, quiet gazebo with comfy chairs, a couple of hammocks and fish ponds with running water to sooth the jangled nerves. The pet friendly accommodation is spacious and extremely comfortable. The property boasts some very productive chickens, which tends towards lovely breakfasts of eggs (and bacon and trimmings etc). They also are a store of amusing entertainment, watching their busy antics.

We had a brilliant time here. Put in charge of a full commercial kitchen, we never even considered eating out. I had forgotten what a pleasure it is to cook in these versus our tiny kitchen at home. We have mastered the poached egg, the omelette, all the trimmings etc. It’s very chuffing to see remarks from the people who have stayed like “The breakfast is incredible”… makes me puff my chest out just a tad.

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Our main reason for minding this establishment was to look after the pets, including two beautiful, but very different dog. On the one hand, we had Penny, a stately old black lab who loves a bit of quiet attention. On the other hand, we had Duncan, a short round ball of muscle of a Staffie. He is an absolute character. When he runs, his front legs get into a goose step while his back end gets into a rolling gait. They are both the friendliest of beasts and we miss having them around. There were also five Alpacas, who didn’t take a lot of looking after, but were fun to interact with.

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My original purpose with this trips is to photograph the rural countryside and there was plenty of great scenes around to keep my interest. At this time of year, all the hills in the region have taken on a warm, golden colour which compliments the blue skies very nicely. Some people may say I have a bit of an obsession with sheep and cattle, which may well be true. I love photographing them, both close up with their inquisitive faces or as part of a rural backdrop. There was some lovely farmland around, with rolling hills, enormous boulders, pretty little dams and billabongs, and quite a few kangaroos bounding amongst the stock, just to remind us where we were.

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The cockatoos and galahs were around in plenty, and again, one can spend time easily watching their interplay. They are beautiful birds visually (if not audibly)


One treat we had was finding the Village Green Cricket Ground. If you start at Strath Creek and meander through the hilly cattle country for about 5 or 6 Km, you come across a green oasis in the middle of nowhere. The ground is surrounded by a white picket fence, the wooden pavilion is beautifully kept with rose gardens in bloom all around. The owners are John and Jan Rogers, the parents of current test cricket opener, Chris Rogers. We were the only visitors that day and John was happy to show us all is great memorabilia, both from day well past and of his Chris’s more recent exploits. We shared a beer or two and then Jan whipped up some scones, jam and cream. It was like stepping back a hundred years to less complicated time.


We had a fantastic time, loved meeting new people who came to stay at the B&B and hope they went away happy and full of a great breakfast. Seriously, if you are after a relaxing getaway, only about an hour from Melbourne, look them up. You won’t be disappointed. You may even find us there again, as we hope to return to look after the place again when the owners, Lindy and Bruce, need another break.

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