Continuing my drive around the shire’s secondary roads.
The Sandy Lane turns off the main north-south highway, so the expected contrast was the high-tech bitumen of a transport artery with the soft dust of a side road.
The contrast that drew my attention was a little different.
It didn’t take long to get a little sidetracked. First we stopped at the intersection so I could take photos of the road sign. Then I diligently crossed the bitumen, wandered down the dirt track a few steps and pointed the camera in the direction we would travel.
And off we went, until we got past those trees.
“Stop the car,” I said to Mum (or words to that effect) and we looked for a safe place to pull over, in the shade. Mum doesn’t wander the roadsides with me and a bit of shade in which to loll is appreciated in the warmer weather.
In contrast, I’m stepping gingerly through the thistles and weeds, and reminding myself to pack the gumboots next time.
I can’t resist a bit of aging metal and, when the vista to the right opened up, I saw rolls and rolls of the stuff sitting in a paddock the colour rust.
Old fencing had been uprooted, rolled up and left to take root again at the edge of the paddock. I initially assumed the fence in front of me had been replaced, but it didn’t look particularly new.
Thinking on it, I’m now wondering if the rolls had once been the interior fencing of this generously proportioned paddock. When I was young, the farming code was diversification – grain, sheep, cows and pigs – a variety to ensure an income of some sort if any sector was struggling. Only in the severest of lengthy droughts would there be no income at all.
Today, specialisation is the market driver, economies of scale, with some value adding if feasible. Today, this is cropping country and the internal fences once needed to manage sheep and cows are gone. The large machinery required for efficient cropping needs large spaces in which to manouver.
I cropped the photos and then cropped them even further, looking for a combination that would remind me of my experience that day. I tried the panorama setting to see how it might combine the images and decided I liked the layered approach it produced. A few minor adjustments and this was the result ….