Birds’ eye view…
Before I begin, let’s make sure you are comfy, okay? Cause this is post is IMAGE intense. I did think about breaking it up, but hey, it all happened in half an hour. You may as well have the same kind of visual assault I enjoyed…heh!
Ready? Strap yourself in then…
A week ago, I organised a special photo shoot – of our property, post-2013-floods. Of course I had shot some from ground level already...
But today I rode in this. A two-person helicopter.
But as an ex-news-snapper, I was ready and REARING to go. Oh how I have missed hanging out of choppers…
Can you feel the L-I-I-I–I-F-F-T!???!!!
Man I love that feeling!
There is NOT a lot of space in this chopper – which means no elbow room but also, you are VERY close to the outside action (no doors!). I do apologise if you are scared of heights… I am not you see. Can you tell?
And this is the big ol’ bridge authorities thought could never go underwater – the one that has now been under four times in two years!
For so many years it straddled a puddle in a sandy bed. Hard to imagine now, isn’t it?
A wide shot looking south – towards our house and the dam some 15km further downstream.
Heading further north, towards a landmark ‘knob’ (and some incoming shower activity, a spin-off from the latest cyclone traversing the Queensland coast).
As we travel over, I am checking the damage done during the wet. Can you see the fragile state of this dam, holding precious water for the dry months (and maybe years) ahead?
Can you see it now? That pipe was dug in by hand (by Mr Incredible and Cal) in a desperate attempt to save the wall washing away (and losing all that water). Every piece of machinery they had attempted to get in there had sunk to the axels.
This is a place I call the ‘double dams’ which have featured often in my photos… looks pretty different from this angle!
Now one thing I did scheme for this adventure (with some help from my brother) was to surprise Dad with a flight over the place.
Dad has lived on this property since he was ten. He has worked it from that time, and run it pretty much from the age of 14. He moved in nearer to town with Mum seven years ago, but spends most of his week at Granite Glen or at my brother’s adjacent property. He drives it several times a week, from one end to the other. But he has never been in a chopper over it…
He didn’t know why my brother stopped work all of a sudden to check out the yellow chopper landing on his lawn. And he was a bit taken aback by the invitation to climb aboard. He was eventually convinced to leave work for 20 minutes and strap himself in (spurs and all!).
As they took off he called out ‘Is this thing safe?‘ and ‘Say Goodbye to your Mother for me!’.
Such a drama queen!
We wondered how he was going in the doorless dragonfly-like machine, and hoped he could relax enough to get a buzz from the experience.
What do you think?
Windblown but happy? (This pic makes me well up a bit – this bloke NEVER grins like that! At least not with a camera nearby).
But time was money, so we took off again, and headed for home.
Back over the bottle-tree scrub country, with steers happily settles in the lush green grass.
Oh, have I introduced you to R? Our pilot? How remiss of me!
In my opinion he’s not only a great pilot (usually a helicopter musterer in some of the ‘bigger country’) but also a hero. He had a lot to do with many people getting to safety during the floods, in many corners of our region. He is a bit shy and doesn’t like to talk about it all.
Which is a shame – there would be some incredible stories to tell. (And PLENTY of people wanting to thank him, I should think!)
While we were very lucky to have our home untouched by the flooding, you can see the incredible force of the water through this usually sleepy creek. The original creek trickled through the top section of sand. The floods have carved an area almost three times as wide through this bend, leaving some larger trees stranded in the middle of the new creek.
Our main problems are creek and gully road crossings.
We chanced on two workers putting logs and pipes into this gully to allow access to a pump and watering facilities.
They were FAR too busy to wave… I had a quiet word to them later about their lack of posing for the camera. (Yes, that’s my husband and our jackaroo Cal!)
It’s also pretty easy to spot the black soil patches along the way. VERY boggy little spots. Apparently. (No-one has yet owned up to the tracks to the right of the road!)
Cattle. Most were lying down or nestled up in the ridge areas, as more rain set in. They are going NOWHERE near those creeks, thankyou VERY much.
Where the black-top ends! (A line which only makes sense if you are a Keith Urban fan).
The creek as it heads for the river… see the ‘little bridge’?
See how the creek, which normally easily slid between the ends of bridge, has now exploded to double or triple it’s width. Not fun for fencers or bridge and road-menders…
We are heading for home now – can you see that white speck to the top left of river?
The river looks HUGE from this angle…
Then swinging around 180 degrees and looking back. That road to the bottom once led to a low old bridge to our neighbours on the other side of the river. Waaaaay underwater now!
And then, all too soon, we lower down towards the house…
I climbed out, with that weird, back-0n-land-did-that-just-happen feeling…
And waved R goodbye.
Are you exhausted? Exhilarated? I am both. I have to say I was worried Dad might not like his surprise – that maybe I should have given him a little warning? But that photo of him post-flight reassures me. On that note I shall say…
PS My brother and Mum have both just reported in, and said Dad beamed all day long… I think my American friends might call this one a … touchdown! *whew*