Sunday, 2 August 2009

Black Joe's Road

It's a beautiful sunny day. We had decided to go out woodgathering today, so of course, as I lay in bed early this morning (with my coffee that John had made already) I had visions of women with huge piles of wood on their heads, or beasts of burden with huge loads tied onto their backs or perhaps even a waif-like child with a bundle of wood. We have all seen that kind of photogarph in National Geographic magazines or in artiles about third world economies in the New Internationalist. And so I decided to google a couple of images to add to this post... I couldn't go past this one...
It struck me that in am image made by the advertising or sign writing industry used the universally recognised symbol for a man "collecting wood" when in fact it might have been more appropriate to have the one with the dress, and perhaps even a bundle on "her" head. Interesting...

We have been out to Black Joes's Road, and there is a lot of wood lying around on the side of the road.... among the weeds...
... and it didn't take long to fill up the back of the ute. John is trying to tie the cover down, but it's a bit difficult... the wood is not very co-operative!
The place that we stopped was on the Heysen trail.
These roads are all known as class four roads in our council area. That means that they are not regularly graded or maintained and are often not passable in wet weather. They are beautiful place though... aside from the wood supply!
This road is about 6 km from our house. I really like this countryside. There are few people here, and one rarely sees a car along these roads. We are lucky to live near here.
On the way home, we passed this ruined house. There are yards behind it and a harvester still nearby... I wonder who used to live there....
... then further along the road this old wagon.
In the background is the farmer's paddock... it's growing either wheat or barley, and much bigger than my patch! These are the crops that grow here without any irrigation. Horticulture or viticulture in this area is always upon supplementary water, and probably not sensible in the long term, except on a very small scale. The Barossa Valley has a slightly higher rainfall, and many people grow vines there with little or no irrigation.
Looking at this crop, it appears that we are definitely below Goyder's line though it is presumed that, with climate change, Goyder's line will "move south." It is expected to be as far south as Clare, fairly close to here.
Right beside the spot that I stood to take that photo, was this olive tree... it's a feral tree, but one that no one has found and raided! Next time that we are out getting wood, I'll take a bucket, for olives. That tree is loaded, and huge.
Home again... and the ute is unloaded and swept.
The wood is all on top of the wood pile and the chainsaw is waiting! There is enough wood there for cooking for about a week, all collected in less than an hour. How good is that!

PS One small barrow load cut and ready for dinner....

1 comment:

Fiona (posts by her mum and dad) said...

looks like a beautiful woodgathering trip. i remember when we would go camping as kids being sent off to get the wood. i don't know how much we actually collected for you, probably not too in santa cruz we are not as cool with our cooking, we just get to turn a knob, devon has a big pile of gathered wood in the driveway at the moment for heating in the winter. you might even get to use some of it in october.