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Ann Britton Outback Photography

2016 What a Wonderful Weather Year for us

Our amazing….one I had never experienced before…..fabulous weather year of 2016 actually started on the 28th December 2015

Many had watched and wished, just like we had, for rains to come and regenerate our lands, trees, animals and humans…..I was amazed and absolutely thrilled at the response this post received….we didn’t get rain but our neighbours up our river system did…..and we rejoiced in the creeks running….and I wrote  “G’day everyone
bit overwhelmed about the popularity of this post, but so pleased that everyone is enjoying and rejoicing, like our town and surrounds are by having water in our creeks.
It is a good start, we would love more water in our water system and some glorious rain as well.
I usually like to reply to all comments, but if I don’t get to you please excuse me this time
THANKS so very very much for liking, sharing and commenting
It is very very appreciated and hope you all know where Boulia is now or had a walk down memory lane.”

To give those that don’t know the before story….this photo was taken on the 15 December 2015. We were having regular “dust storms” …..usually wind stirred up from isolated teasing storms around…but this was like a proper dust storm (as I recall I left the bedroom windows open before I jumped in the car to drive out into the house paddock to take these photos….yes …Rick was kind enough to grab the vacuum and clean up the mess) But this photo shows the landscape that we viewed… in day out during this dry spell.

These three photos were taken all on the same day 15 December 2015, a new day dawns, clouds holding so much promise, ending in yet another dust storm with no rain. This happened many times, maybe not ending in a dust storm every time….but lots of cloud with no rain.

Amongst one of the saddest things, for me, was watching the trees down at the lagoon slowly die…..this is the view I would revisit every time I drove back into “home” Goodwood…..this photo was taken  20 February 2015….it would be nearly 12 months until these trees would feel moisture on their root system….for the whole on 2015 I would tell these trees….yes I am mad enough to talk to trees….hang in there, the waters/rain is coming……as you can see the ones right on the edge of the lagoon aren’t doing to bad, but the ones further out are struggling.

This photo I took last night, as the storms gathered again, but notice the tall tree in dry photo….it didn’t make it, but there is another growing right behind it and also notice how dense the trees along the lagoon are now.

Amongst the heat, the dust storms, we also had mad strong wind, that was helping dry out the already dry ground…that strong that it made these patterns in the sand, near the road to the 5 mile, this photo taken on the 5 January 2016….so there was water in our channel system but still no rain to quench the thirst of the ground.

Our lagoon…..29 December 2015 started filling up (top photo)….it caused great excitement….the Sandy got that big it was backing up and flowing across our Sandy Paddock and into our lagoon….a magic sight and by the 31 December (bottom photo) our lagoon was full

So while the ground was still crying out for water, but the waterways were filling up, we received some visitors on 6 January 2016…..of the feathered kind….can you see them?
Yes pelicans…I wrote a blog about their visit.

Ground dry….trees sucking in the moisture from recently full lagoon…pelicans visiting obviously for food….how much more amazing can this country be?

……and then….on the 3 February Mother Nature gave what she had been teasing in promising skies for months, she dropped a glorious, tear making 21mm.
Looking east, just outside our entrance to the house, near the front grid (Remember this photo for comparison later in the blog)

….this country will continue to amaze me….21mm after such a dry spell would kick start green pick, yes we would need follow up but yes….yes this was a start….looking out over our Horse Paddock after the 21mm.

Rick had brought bulls home from the Mountain (Black Mountain a block of ours about 40km as the crow flies north north east of us), to feed on the green pick the flood waters from the lagoon had created as we had received higher flood waters from rain further north, since the 31 December 2015….which is so visible.

the rainfall records from Goodwood 2013, 14, 15
Mother Nature had teased us with 3mm 4 January, 4mm 14 January, 10mm 28mm 2016…..considering we hadn’t had a drop of rain since 15 January 2015…….there were 7 falls in 2015 from 3-15 January for a total of 40mm……that meant 11 months of nothing….we don’t expect rain during winter months but we wouldn’t say no to Winter rain….we had received very hot temps….we received strong hot winds to just add to the resilience of this country….we didn’t have any cattle on Goodwood and hadn’t had since 2014. Early November storms is a good start to any wet season…..our wet season is from November to March….

But 2016 will go down in the record books as the exception to the rule….there have order diclofenac gel been years that we have received more rain than 2016….1995 1839points that’s 460mm …..2000 we received 3017points that’s 754mm, just to name two recent ones ….but the difference is how the rain fell….there were only two months in 2016 with no recorded rain.  
The Sandy Channel that ran for the first time on the 28th of December 2015 has basically not stopped flowing all year…..the channel has no permanent water holes….this channel flows and then dries up….to see it FLOWING for basically all year except for a few weeks between rain up north is something I have never seen.

My FIL has told us that one year in the 70s the Sandy flowed all year. Looking at the record books the 1970s were very good years for rain.1970 and 1972 weren’t too flash but the rest look wonderfully lucky for receiving rain. You have to remember we work on 1 in ten is a wonderful year and 3 average years, the rest we sort of don’t rely on, extremely happy if they come good but they could possibly be dry.

Just to give you an idea of the difference where flood waters flow in our flat country, the top photo is our Goodwood Swamp/Lagoon at the Winton/Boulia road, about 4km east of Boulia…the second photo is the country after the flood has gone….the third photo is the ground on the very opposite of the said road, taken at the very same time as the second photo, that has had no flood or rain water on it (yet)

One “subject” that I truly enjoyed this year that I don’t always get the chance to take “reflections”

The calm waters of the Burke River, with gum leaves being kissed by the sunlight and the reflection of the sky in the river, making the water look blue.

After sunset, the Burke had just had another top of water….just love the colours.

We had several runs in the Burke River after the first on 28 December 2015….about three runs made the water under the Bridge at town to  3.6m….which was terrific….but then the next run, thanks to rain up the river hit the magic 4m….magic cause that extra 40cm overs flat ground makes our 5mile run….whoot whoot….and that water spreads out and grows grass over many acres….considering this photo was taken 13 March….our last rain was 4 February 4mm, the day after we received 21mm…if we couldn’t rely on rain water, well a good flood would see our channel country through. This is the lagoon at home when the Burke is at 4m in town, about 6km as the crow flies.

We’ll have to thank #BossMan for this photo…this is the Burke river with the bridge near town in foreground, at 4m from a chopper, that Rick was passenger in, looking south. At a guess I would say Goodwood would be at about 10 o’clock, right on the edge of the trees before the dry on the far horizon.

Our Lagoon and the ground between our private road and the Lagoon December 2014

Our lagoon and the ground between lagoon and road taken this morning 16 January 2016

The grid at the house at Goodwood, our “entrance” take 1 November 2015

Same grid, same entrance, this morning (yes I had to take my boots off to walk in the water to take the photo) Junior in the shade of the trees was wondering why I was venturing out in the heat and mud. He did join me for a bit so he could be in the water and have a bread crumb afterwards.
Our rain gauge is visible on a post behind the wagon wheel on the left hand side.

From our entrance looking out to our private road that joins the Coorabulka road. Fueling up is a bit of an issue at the moment. Water doesn’t normally worry us here, there usually isn’t enough of it. Tojo did a great job of adding more gravel and it did make it better but our magic rain sort of made a joke of that.

Remember that photo I took, looking east, near our entrance at the front grid, after our first good fall of 21mm?
Well this is from the same spot, taken this morning, after a further 495mm in 2016 and 58mm this year.
I have never witnessed a year so wet, but I have only been here for 31 years.
The humidity we are dealing with at the moment is a lot different to our dry heat. But it is producing storms with moisture in them.
We didn’t hear many frogs the whole of 2016, until towards the end, which we found a bit strange, they are very very happy at the moment.
This view I could handle any day compared to that dust rolling in.

What this year has in stall for us, goodness knows, while we have received a glorious 35mm in the last 48hours, all fallen at night time, from several thunder storms, there have been places in the shire that have received over 100mm in the same time. There is a fresh in the Burke and the Sandy, bonus.

I hope that you have enjoyed the transformation of our channel country…….”just add water”


  1. Greg 

    MagnificentWrite a review

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