Springtime’s customary balmier temps have arrived at Carnarvon Station Reserve, giving life to some stunning native wildflowers, and offering some picture-perfect platforms for an afternoon sunset viewing.
Recent prescribed burns followed by an unexpected 90ml of rainfall for the month of September has equipped the landscape beautifully for the summer growing season ahead, bringing about an extraordinary transformation to much of this diverse landscape.
We welcomed our first visitors for the season this week, Bush Heritage supporters George Wilson and his wife Lyn flew in for an overnight stopover accompanied by friends and fellow Bush Heritage supporters Terry and Carol Korn. The duo was on route from attending an AgForce conference in Charleville. Dr George Wilson, a wildlife ecologist and veterinarian addressed graziers at the conference on a potential ANU project aimed at contributing to biodiversity conservation through the sustainable management of the increasingly large populations of macropods.
On arrival, our visitors were provided with a 360° view of the spectacular colours of dusk from one of Carnarvon’s native grasslands designated 'Woolshed'.
The Woolshed grasslands, once home to a bow covered shearing shed complete with the stone-pitched floor from the early 1860s was used to shear the many sheep grazing Carnarvon during that time. Although any remaining infrastructure has disappeared long ago, the narratives of yesteryear speak to you through a scout around that will usually uncover some form of relic.
A rusty old pair of blade shears, a horseshoe, or a broken piece of china once part of a valuable tool used to provide the day's sustenance for many a Chinese shepherd or stockman who are now just ghosts in this topography known as the Carnarvon Ranges.
Guests were given a tour of several other Carnarvon highlights the following day, including the Piebald Springs art site and then on to inspect the newest addition to the campground - a shelter shed fully equipped with open fire overlooking the billabong.
Our supporters were very appreciative of the work undertaken by Bush heritage staff to protect this captivating part of Australia and were keen to contribute in any way they could while on reserve, so when the offer of a bird’s eye view of Carnarvon from 1500 feet was presented, reserve manager Chris Wilson and our three daughters Jessica, Katie and Charlotte were very quick to accept - an exercise Chris used to set up some GPS way points for another project in the pipeline. More on that later.
As I write this piece, our guests have not long flown out and I suspect by now will be enjoying yet another glorious sunset on the Carnarvon Ranges, this time from the eastern side of the range on neighbouring Carnarvon Gorge National Park.