Rough grey boulders were plonked on slopes and ridges. I had been through Kinglake West, Flowerdale, Broadford. In the valleys, the sides of the cuttings like freshly sliced salmon encased old wooden bridges. The air was empty.
In the middle of nowhere, I found the best little place with a great café and a gluten free cake with fresh cream! Yum!!! Jars of jam, olives and oil were packed into the car in brown paper bags.
Trellises with the poles poking out of the ground, criss-crossed like knitting needles with yarn of wire down length of the rows were loosely drapsed with kiwifruit. Empty red bins in clumps sat on gravel ready to be filled with new season apples.
On to Shepparton, Bunbartha, Barmah and settled in at a motel in Mathoura.
A farmer with sun bleached eyes, grey with dust and unfulfilled wishes sat and spoke to me about the wedge-tailed eagles which would come and kill newborn lambs. He said that they lamb early in this area to fill the gap in supply from Victoria, where they lamb in spring. He said he would see them circling and he knew a ewe had just lambed, and before he could drive down to the paddock to her, the lamb was dead. The wedgie was so hungry it had resorted to killing a live animal. That’s how hungry they are.
The motel owner’s roses bloom like lollies on sticks. The breeze is hot. Dinner for the farmer is brought to an outside table on a floral plate. Lamb chops, potatoes, pumpkin and peas. My motel for the night is clean, simple and quiet.