Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A kaleidoscope of colour at Yowah in outback Queensland

Today has been one of those days that seems to have evaporated into a kaleidoscope of colour. Opal.

After driving out to the fossicking area set aside for travellers, we searched a while but found only a few specks. On the way back to camp we saw the marked mining claims with their white poles and tape. The irony is, however, that we've found much, much more opal by looking through the heaps of discarded rubble used to define campsites and to prevent flooding. Only a couple of metres from our caravan is a pile of Yowah nuts ready to be broken -- to reveal who knows what!

So, from the comfort of our camp we're finding enough opal to keep us well and truly happy. In fact today, with my only equipment being a bucket of water, an old toothbrush and a pick, I found at least eight pieces of rock containing substantial amounts of opal -- purples, blues and a flash of red. What I found is not valuable as such -- but it is to me!

Later in the morning we visited a serious gem collector who showed us the opal that she and her partner have mined, cut and polished. It was an an eye-opener of colour and beauty.

Aside from the opals, the outback is rich in colour with the red earth, blue grey foliage of shrubs, and golden grasses. Today we took a Major for a walk along the bore drain walk and cycle track which follows the bore drain that runs from the caravan park to the school -- a distance of about 800 m. The highlight for me was to see the bullrushes growing along the bore drain. The highlight for Major, was chasing a rabbit, for which he was reprimanded.

Almost as spectacular as the opals are the leopardwood trees (Flindersia maculata) which grow in this area, with their stunning spotted trunks.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like finding opal is pretty easy. Is it really or really time-consuming?