Monday, March 2, 2009

Drying for a drink

Ah, the joys of a country weekend!

Here is a photo of My One True Love and I standing on the docks of Mildura Wharf, looking out across the wide expanse of water.

It’s rather disturbing that for such a dry and arid region, Mildura produces so many fruit and vegetable crops. There are acres and acres of citrus and grapes; some of them drying on long wooden racks to become raisins. Don’t they look wonderful?

And of course we had to visit Orange World, which was just as touristy as the name would imply. Something about that nose disturbs me. Gorgeous fresh orange juice though, mm.
As well as our visit to the antique shops and Wentworth Gaol, we also saw the confluence of the Lachlan and Murray Rivers, and we visited the dried-up bowl of Lake Mungo, made famous for the remains of Mungo Woman and Mungo Man found there thirty-odd years ago, and which proved the existence of Aborigines on the shores of the once verdant lake, over 30,000 years ago.

Lake Mungo dried up around 15,000 years in the past, and now the area supports only has saltbush and the odd scrappy tree.
In some parts it looks like the desert, with enormous sand dunes riding up on the hills, and eroding lunettes poking through, where you can see ancient Aboriginal middens, and petrified charcoal from fires, and the skeletons of fish and wombats protruding through the dirt.
We also saw lots of kangaroos, and a baby sand goanna, and dozens of iridescent blue/green parrots.

But it’s the whole place that is dry, not just the lake bed, which was once 27 feet deep.

Lake Eildon, the usual lake that feeds Mildura, hasn’t any water in it either. The rivers are green, and not in a good way.

How long can we keep draining them to support agriculture, when it seems that we shouldn’t be trying to farm in these areas?


Mountaingirl said...

I LOVE the shadow picture

Troischats said...

Heh heh - thanks Mountaingirl. I've never felt so tall! I thought it was a clever way of posting a photo of us without giving too much away ....

Christy said...

I love that photo too. You look like you belong in the previous century - him with a railroad cap and you with the long skirt and hat. Adorable! I've never even heard of that region before - I'll have to study up on my Australian geography - and I've never heard of a baby sand goanna before either. I'm googling both now.