Sunday, July 13, 2008

ninety mile desert

Yesterday we crossed the ninety mile desert, heading back south towards the coast. Sixty years ago this was a vast inhospitable tract of land and it defied all grazing and cropping efforts, as the abandoned homesteads throughout the area attest.

Scientists discovered the land was deficient in cobalt, copper and zinc and a chemical 'conquest' of the land followed. Remnants of the land the way it was prior to this chemical terrorism are to be found in a number of conservation parks including our long drive through Ngarkat, and pretty bleak it is although amongst the mallee gums and sand dunes Ness managed to find some flowers, and apparently in late winter and early spring the wildflowers provide a brilliant display.

We failed in our mission however- to spot an endangered Mallee Fowl.

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