The Fergie …

The tractor is a 1953 UK built Massey Ferguson TO30 and it’s parked just a few yards from my back door. It was a clear sky last night and there was a smallish window between the Milky Way making its appearance and moon rise. I set up the camera, worked out my lighting and went to bed with the alarm set for 2.45 am.

I think it was worth it …

The bright “star” tucked in the left side of the Milky Way is the planet Jupiter.

Waanyarra …

The miners of Waanyarra didn’t have far to go to Morton’s Welcome Inn. Nor did they have far to go to the cemetery.

Most of the gold rush era graves were marked with wooden memorials. They have fared badly, most are gone and with one exception the remainder are illegible. Three plaques at the gate list the names and ages of the people known to be buried here although the exact locations are unknown. Very young children figure prominently.

Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.       Matthew 24:44 – King James Bible

Among the few headstones there is one for Michael Morton. This is likely the man who built the old Welcome Inn. The name is right, the place is right, the era is right. There is an inconsistency in the age however. What I know of Mr Morton was gleaned from a descendant writing <HERE>  which gives him as 19 years of age in 1847 therefore  77 in 1905.

More Large Marsupials …

Kangaroos tend to lay up during the day, often in a wooded area, and move to their grazing area late in the afternoon. Evening and early morning are the times when drivers have to be particularly careful. The road sense of a kangaroo is fairly minimal although natural selection is working on it.

A mob of about a dozen adults plus pouch young came across my little farm the other evening. They were grazing as they came. I was accurate in my prediction of the route they would take. I hid in a large bush and they slowly made their way up to me.

 

 

They are shy. They compete directly with the local sheep for the currently scanty grass – they have no friends among the farming community.

This one discovered me …

and they were gone in an instant.

Morton’s Welcome Inn …

On a lonely road in Victoria’s Golden Triangle there stands an old stone building. It once provided a warm welcome to the diggers in the Waanyarra gold field.

Morton’s Welcome Inn

Michael Morton was 19 years old when he was found guilty of cow stealing in 1847 in Tipperary, Ireland. He was sentenced to be transported. He was 5 feet 7 inches tall with brown hair and a fresh complexion. He was single, a labourer and couldn’t read or write. The journey took him via Bermuda and the Cape of Good Hope eventually fetching up in Van Dieman’s Land in April 1850 where he and almost all of the convicts coming off the good ship Neptune were given a pardon on the condition that they not return to the old country.

In 1852 he crossed Bass Strait and joined the gold rush. And soon after he built a pub that also served as a store. It held a license from 1866 – 1883 which doesn’t mean it wasn’t in business before that!

interior

It was not a large space. It had to house his growing family, eventually eight strong as well as his patrons. Since the last digger was fleeced the building has  at some time done duty as a wool shed.

Imagine it on a cold winter’s night after a hard day’s yacker, a fire in the hearth, good company and a beer.

The Morning Macropods …

There are two members of the Kangaroo family that are fairly common around the country estate and I encountered both of them on my morning walk. Swamp Wallabies are always around. Eastern Grey Kangaroos come and go. They’re present in fair numbers presently. Brought in, I suspect, by the water that’s available.

Swamp Wallaby
Eastern Grey Kangaroo

You can see the claws on this big male. One recent night the trail camera caught a couple of roos in a dispute. Thick fur is a useful asset on such occasions …