Sunday, May 03, 2009

Ram Beau

No Reason To Feel Sheepish

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


You reckon I've been rolling around in the slush, photographing livestock, right? Er, not quite. Yes, this is a merino, the famous drought-resistant breed of Australian sheep that is synonymous with top-grade wool. But there's more to it than meets the eye .....

I’m pretty observant, for a bloke. But don’t let that mislead you. It’s a well established fact among members of my clan that I cannot find things in a drawer, on a desk, on a table, in a cupboard, on a shelf, in a shopping bag, in a suitcase or in a supermarket aisle. But let me loose with a camera and I’ll see things that no one else can see.

Ya get my drift, right?


So when we recently went to Sydney for Easter, I had a bit of explaining to do. We pulled into a service station at Goulburn, a picturesque New South Wales town. Apart from the fact that the service station has plenty of bowsers, there is also a bakery across the street and plenty of other restaurants and outlets in a tight radius.

But as I drove towards the service station, we all noticed (some of us, ahem, more quickly than others) the huge merino that dominated the horizon. Yes, it’s the well-known Big Merino, a famous Australian tourist attraction. But here’s the problem. How come none of us had noticed it on previous trips, when we pulled in for a quick refuelling stop at the same place?

I went for the obvious option and said I must have been concentrating on a) traffic, b) pedestrians and c) speed limit signs. Spotting big merinos, I stuttered, was surely the responsibility of Mrs Authorblog and the Authorbloglets. Especially a merino that stands more than 15 metres tall.


Then, as I sat down to write this post, I did a bit of research and discovered that there’s nothing wrong with my eyesight. The mammoth figure of the Big Merino was actually constructed elsewhere in Goulburn. Then, when a highway bypass was built and the tourist traffic to the merino took a huge dip, the giant figure was moved, lock, stock and barrel to its present location.

I’m so clever I should take my bar exam. Or my baaaaa exam.


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43 comments:

Maddy said...

Too clever by half.
Cheers

Snap said...

You are too funny! Thanks for the info on Merino wool.

Butternut Squash said...

What a statue! One sees all sorts of wacky road side oddities in the US Southwest. The Merino statue actually looks quite artful. If I were there I would be compelled to touch it.

Karen said...

That's one awesome looking ram :-)

Glad you finally found the explanation for why you hadn't seen it before ... must have thought you were losing it for a moment :-)

Ananda girl said...

Wow... not even Bo Peep could lose that sheep! haha Thanks for sharing this guy and the story.

Sylvia K said...

You are one funny guy, David, as well as a terrific photographer and this is a great shot!

Misty Dawn said...

You absolutely crack me up! Trust me, I've wrestled with many a sheep when we were raising them, but there is NO way I'm taking that one on!

marcia@joyismygoal said...

that first shot is so cool and from one punster to another your humor is baaa-ad

BPG said...

Merino shEep aRe nOt Aboriginees. KiSs me long and hard. xXxXx

spacedlaw said...

This move must have foxed more than a few people...

Norm said...

nice capture, thanks for a wonderful post, fantastic..

Elizabeth Bradley said...

The second shot is my favorite, I like the angle and the light.

Barbaloot said...

That is awesome! I'm gonna have to tell my cousins about that---hopefully we can see it on our trip:)

aims said...

hehehehe - you are indeed too clever by half dear David.

Shey said...

Wow! It's so huge! I understand why you were wondering how you could have missed it. Happy for you that you found the reason.

Fantastic shots!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Baaaahahaha:) Wonderful!

Ladynred said...

Interesting post. I haven't seen one like that before!

Artist Unplugged said...

...and a detective too!

Janie said...

I'm so glad to hear you don't have baaad eyesight, or are otherwise unobservant. Thank goodness the facts stood you in good stead.

Maggie May said...

Bet you thought you were going doollally for a while, David!
What a magnificent sheep.

DrowseyMonkey said...

Wholly shmolly! lol That's an amazing story and and even more amazing statue!!

Doreen said...

OMG! too funny. sometimes things we drive by every day become invisible to us. not in your case though! but it had you thinking didn't it?

susan said...

I'd like to see the sweater that comes from that one!

BumbleVee said...

hahahha... this is pretty funny. I hadn't been here or (sorry to say) thought about your blog for a while....but, then noticed you on a blog I frequent... and so popped over. One funny post you did sprang to mind while reading this one.... and let me see if I get it right.... I think I recall a submarine out in the middle of nowhere in Australia? ... I must come back more often...you are a funny guy David.....

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Hilarious!!!! I love Baaaa-d puns! LOL!

Merisi said...

*giggle*

I remember an opposite experience, something not quite there anymore where it was supposed to be: on the way to a visit we pestered our father to stop at a little wooden hut where they sold smoked trout. You shall get your fish on the way back, he promised. Well, would you believe that the wood shed had burned down to its last timbers when a returned a few hours later? ;-)

Under A Lilac Tree. said...

This post is too great. It was educating, intriguing, and hilarious to read at the same time.
Gosh, Austrialia sounds baaaaa-utiful =D.

Thumbelina said...

If you get too clever, the Authorbloget clan will have you baaaaa-ed!

Excellent shots - and prose. I played this week too.

Eddie Bluelights said...

I was going to say he looks like a bone head but it should be he looks like a stone head.
Great photos, Eddie

SandyCarlson said...

He looks like king of the road. Your photos make him appear lifelike.

Glennis said...

Now that is a sheep and a half. Certainly bigger than any in New Zealand.
Its a beauty alright.

fishing guy said...

David: Certainly looks like a monster sheep you couldn't miss. What a neat photo of the critter.

♥ Braja said...

"Domestic blindness" is something only men are guilty of :) Other blindness we're all open to. But a ram that size??! Glad to learn it was moooo-ved :))
Sorry. But YOU did the baa joke...

The Explorer said...

that is quite huge...but the blog is informative, thanks i learned something about merino.

Baino said...

They actually relocated it from the Main drag after the freeway went in apparently! You should have mentioned you were coming up to Sydney! Maybe we'll be able to catch up when I hit Melbourne at the end of the month!

sixstars said...

Now all they need is clifford the big red sheep dog.

Kate said...

I guess many towns across the globe have statues of legendary proportions. Have you ever heard of Babe, the Blue Ox in Minnesota?

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Hey, you got me! That is a funny statue, and those are some stunning photos. I really envy you your intensely blue sky. Wow!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

So...how much wool is sheared off that big guy? -smile-

The Quintessential Magpie said...

The ram is neat, but what's even neater is that the people weren't going to let a bypass bankrupt that area and that they moved it to help. That is economic development in the best sense.

Sheila :-)

Mojo said...

Funny, I was making one of these points myself in this post just today. Look around and you never know what you'll find.

This reminds me of a story I heard once... But this is a family blog so should I share it?

Na-a-a-a-ahhh.

Denise said...

A fun post, and that is one amazing sculpture. Once again, fantastic photos.

Daryl said...

Now dont get all knotted up ... but I think that's a yarn you're telling