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…

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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...

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But today I rode in this.  A two-person helicopter.

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The horses in our house paddock decided that giant yellow bird was NOT to be trusted…chopper_8529 e

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!

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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?

Wheeee!!!!!

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This is a shot overlooking a second house on our place… and the river so much-featured in my pics during the recent floods.

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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!

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For so many years it straddled a puddle in a sandy bed.  Hard to imagine now, isn’t it?

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A wide shot looking south – towards our house and the dam some 15km further downstream.

 

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Heading further north, towards a landmark ‘knob’ (and some incoming shower activity, a spin-off from the latest cyclone traversing the Queensland coast).

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!).

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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.

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What do you think?

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Windblown but happy?  (This pic makes me well up a bit – this bloke NEVER grins like that! At least not with a camera nearby).

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But time was money, so we took off again, and headed for home.

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Back over the bottle-tree scrub country, with steers happily settles in the lush green grass.

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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.

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Which is a shame – there would be some incredible stories to tell.  (And PLENTY of people wanting to thank him, I should think!)

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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.

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Our main problems are creek and gully road crossings.

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We chanced on two workers putting logs and pipes into this gully to allow access to a pump and watering facilities.

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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!)

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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!)

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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.

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Where the black-top ends! (A line which only makes sense if you are a Keith Urban fan).

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The creek as it heads for the river… see the ‘little bridge’?

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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…

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We are heading for home now – can you see that white speck to the top left of river?

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The river looks HUGE from this angle…

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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!

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And then, all too soon, we lower down towards the house…

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I climbed out, with that weird, back-0n-land-did-that-just-happen feeling…

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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…

Good night - and sweet dreams!

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*

24 Responses to “Birds’ eye view…”

  1. Wow BB…that was brilliant!
    Going back to look again!
    That grin on your Dads face…unforgettable.
    Your home is so beautiful…so big! Looking down on your home shows just how isolated you really are…but also how lucky you are to have so much space and peaceful quiet around you. Little envy there…I live in the burbs where I can see a fence outside almost every window.
    And big envy that you got a ride in a chopper…I have a secret hero worship of the guys who fly those things…very cool!
    Loving the beauty of Australia a bit more now…thanks so much.

  2. Oh what a special story! Loved seeing that big smile spread over your Dad’s face! Yes that was a big score! I saw him post that smile a few times at Rocky, when watching his grand children! Totally awesome seeing your adventure! I had no idea the creek was so close to your home! Looks much different than when we were there.
    I am envious of your flight. The country around us has winding roads, hills and I get turned around a lot. Would love to spend a day up in the air, learning placement of things in this area, I call it mind mapping! If I can get it placed in my mind directionally, I don’t get lost! LOL
    Thanks for sharing the wonderful flight around your beautiful area! I want to come back!

  3. Fantastic!!!

    And yes, I am afraid of heights, so the “no doors” thing got my heart to racing. But would you believe I use to have my pilot’s license? Of course the little planes I flew always had doors! Despite flying (and piloting) little planes, I’ve never been in a helicopter. Someday, I hope.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Birds

  4. I loved the visit to your home, it seemed like I was right with you and enjoying every minute, thank you.

  5. Wow, fantastic is right! That was like being in the chopper with you.It really is a beautiful, peaceful looking area and I can understand why you love it. Your Dad looks like a real sweetheart, I can tell he loved it and was amazed he got back to the ground safely. That’s kind of the way I feel after a flight, LOL. I don’t do height’s either. Looks like you are mighty close to that river, have you ever had flood waters come in? I hope the answer to that is NO. Maybe you are built on a high spot? Anyway BB, You Da Woman! Told PW the same thing so now there are 2 of you, and that’s high praise. The Yank, LOL

  6. Looks a picture – and what a lovely experience for Dad – he will dream about that one!
    jeanie´s last blog post ..When I was a Girl

  7. Wow – what an experience and everything below the flight looks so great. Plenty of water and fodder for the winter months (not that we freeze too much here in QLD).
    I bet the old man had the time of his life and would have been thrilled with what he saw below.
    Great photos and report, I doubt if you missed anything.

  8. When I was stationed in Korea, I was fortunate enough to have a job that I was choppered around the peninsula. The first time I went, I did not have a clue that the pilots had a trick. They tried their best to get a first time passenger to, um, toss their cookies. So they would fly in very close to those great big Korean mountains and then an updraft would catch you, and send you straight up, as if you were riding a elevator. This happened several times, and I’m sure I looked grim, but I assessed the situation, decided that THEY didn’t look fussed, and was afraid of looking like a baby. So I set my jaw and endured. The next flight was similar. I was very stoic. At the end, I got a rose. They told me what they’d been up to, and that I’d passed their test, and called a truce.

    Your dad looks as if he’d be quite willing to take up choppering on a regular basis! I loved that grin.

    Me? The no-doors thing would have been terrifying, but I’d’a done it.
    Debby´s last blog post ..I am a drug abuser.

  9. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! Speechless…so worth the wait of looking at it on the PC and not my phote ;)

  10. Yep, that smile on your Dad’s face pretty much sums it up.

    :-)
    Scotty´s last blog post ..Reminiscing

  11. Oh wow, couldn’t help but well up here too. I would LOVE to experience that, but fear I am not so brave as you :( Maybe one day, I will find the courage. What a day for your Dad, how extremely special. Loved the post and loved seeing all that GREEN. :)

  12. Amanda bird’s eye view
    What can you say Theses photos are just great
    Would love to be with you
    Especially when your dad got off the helicopter.

  13. Oh wow! What amazing views I think I have a little chopper envy, I would love to go up and take photos. Your ‘place’ looks beautiful after the rain and isn’t the power of water amazing, the damage it can make. Yes your Dad’s face says it all, I think that was probably the best surprise ever for him.
    Anne´s last blog post ..Out and About with the Birds

  14. What a wonderful experience for both you and your dad. Doesn’t the country look amazing at the moment, how quickly situations change, all because of a little rain.
    Fiona´s last blog post ..It’s all Happening Too Quickly

  15. Way fun to take this adventure with you! But man, that chopper is teensy!!! The expression on your dad’s face was priceless. I think that was a lovely gift, and one he’ll never forget. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

    And belated birthday greetings!!
    A Novel Woman´s last blog post ..Another Walkabout in Downtown Montreal

  16. These pics really are interesting, I keep coming back to look thru them. I think my favorite is the smile on your Dad’s face too. What a thrill he got from that.

  17. Looks like a grand time. That helo is almost pocket-size.

  18. Love it, okay must stop looking at your blog and get back to work now!

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