Monday, January 3, 2011

..any second now!

What with all this wet weather it's been a good year for snails eh?!

We don’t have many weirs out here in the Australian outback, there seems little point since we have bugger all rain. But a hundred years ago people were far more optimistic it seems…in 1912 the people of Cleve built a small (by world standards) weir across a sometimes wet creek. There is just one old grainy B&W photo of water flowing over the top, quite possibly the only time water flowed over the top.
This year is exceptional… an El-Niño weather pattern means much more rain in our part of the world, though much less in South America. Queensland and New South Wales is flooded at the moment with not much sign of it stopping, the Murray River will flood right down to the sea for the first time in decades…and we SO need the water.
I received a call from a friend in the country to say the weir was full…full for the first time in his entire life. (50 odd years)
So it was that I made the 400km (250mile) journey and camped at the weir for a few days between Christmas and New Years. Not for anything more than to see the weir full, as you can see water is rather special here.
The picture taken from below the weir was taken near my camp site, the water in the foreground is water leaking through the concrete wall…two thing occurred to me laying there in my swag.
The optimist on my right shoulder said the wall had lasted a hundred years and was bound to last many years yet.
The pessimist on my left shoulder kept saying that the wall was a hundred years old, had never had this amount of water behind it and was bound to fail…any second now!



Jen said...

I would not have been brave enough to camp in front of that wall. Glad it didn't break.

Symdaddy said...

I would have had my shower cap on and a bar of soap in my hand waiting for the flood.

Kal said...

Damn. That is some crazy snail growing going on there. Is that natural?

Windsmoke. said...

I've camped in many places in Victoria but i've never seen so many snails in one place. Did you throw a line in?.

magsx2 said...

I also cannot get over the amount of snails on the fence, it's just unreal.
As far as camping in front of the wall, you are brave, I would of thought the other way, it's been many, many, years since water had been pushing on the wall, it will give way. :)

Tempo said...

Hi Jen, I'm glad it didnt let go either, but I didnt even think about that until I was all tucked up in my swag.
Hey Symdaddy, If the wall let go I think it would have been all over pretty fast, no time to soap up...
Kal, Windsmoke and Mags, I was told these snails are from Europe somewhere and came to Oz on equipment or in grain etc (no ones quite sure) but we have them all over the dry zones of SA. For some reason they climb to the top of posts and trees when theres a bit of rain. (do they know something I dont?) This is the first time I've seen so many though, a good rainy season has meant that they have bred up. The good news is that our really hot summers kill them off leaving them stuck to the posts like this until they blow away