Sunday, June 14, 2009

Woolly Nelson

Hopelessly Devoted To Ewe

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Picture this: here I am, scooting along the Olympic Highway. Going bush, we call it. Leaving the bright lights of the city far behind and heading for the wide open spaces, of which there are many in this wide brown land.

I’ve just turned off the busy Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney. I’ve put about 300 kilometres on the clock and I’ve followed instructions to "hang a left" just after Albury. I’m on the grandly-named Olympic Highway, but it’s really only two lanes, one in either direction.

There’s very little traffic, so I use my peripheral vision to check for possible stop-and-shoot spots where I can safely pull off the road, grab the camera, take a few shots and then drive on again. The road is long but the day is even longer. Easy pace. No need to hurry.

I drive round a gentle curve and there is a flock of sheep, grazing right near a perimeter fence. Above them is a dead, bare tree against a largely blue sky mottled with low white cloud to the west.


Brain says "perfect Outback scene" and then a split-second later it tells me "ideal Camera Critters shot". So I slow down, continue round the bend to where it is safe to see traffic in either direction. Nary a vehicle. So I do a clean, efficient U-turn and drive back to where I saw the sheep. One more deft U-turn and I am right beside the boundary fence.

I grab my camera and get out of the car. My heavy-duty hiking boots crunch on the shale. I am looking down to make sure I don’t trip on the uneven ground. The undergrowth is thick but steady. I negotiate about twenty metres of tricky but not dangerous ground.

Then I look up. The sheep, curse their tim'rous hearts, have scarpered. There is now 50 metres between us. So these shots were the best I could do.


Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

25 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Love your camera critters! Have a great weekend, David!

PurestGreen said...

What great contrast between the sky and that bleached-out tree. It is still but also very dramatic. Love it.

Karen said...

Very cool shot though, even if the sheep did scarper ... :-)

(I'll leave out the sheep shagging jokes :-) :-) :-) ..)

Pouty Lips said...

Words are your playthings, David, and I love it (title and subtitle).

Denise said...

Wonderful shots, nothing like looking at animals, trees, pretty blue sky and puffy clouds.

Elizabeth said...

Sheep!
Not a brain surgeon amongst the lot of them.

Anyway, I've just finished your wonderful book Vindaloo/Vegemeite which I'm posting on to Willow this afternoon.

Wow!

What a delight and what an exploration of worlds very unfamiliar to me made real in your book.
Such vivid detail about Calcutta, and the smells and the rain and the disasterous car ride through floods. (The corruption in India also). You brought it all ALIVE.


The sadness of Ismail and Zarina's world really broke my heart. How they did the best thing for their child in spite of losing him.

I loved all the attention to sport and also things mechanical. How you capture a (possibly) male
attention to the practical....and to bastard-riddled bloke-bonding chat.

Hmmmm no servants in Australia. What a shock to the system after India.
It was bliss in Morocco to have a beautifully clean house all the time.

You raised so many fascinating issues about contemporary society and life in different countries.
I have lived mostly in Britain and America.
How lucky we are not to be trapped as so many of the world's population are.

So altogether a really wonderful read.
I expect there are more stories in store for us?

This should probably have been sent in an e-mail but got here first. Could write a great deal more but space prevents.
All best wishes
Elizabeth

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

David...I missed the greatest shot last Friday on the Indian Nations Turnpike in Oklahoma! There were about a hundred goats of all colors grazing on a rocky hillside about 100 yards from the roadside.
Hubby was driving too fast and didn't want to stop and back up.
When we came back through on Monday, they were up on the mountain top and too far to shoot with my camera! :(

Love your caption! :)

willow said...

That is one blue-blue-blue sky! And I had to come over and tell you the title of this post gave me a giggle from my blogroll. ;^)

willow said...

PS...looking forward to your book, via the lovely Ms. Wix.

Brian Miller said...

lol. great shot. made what you could of it. if only the sheep would stay put...but i guess they have a mind of their own. have a great weekend!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

I love the dead tree, adds element to the shots.

Sarah said...

Beautiful shots!!! The sky is so BLUE!! Reminds me of Montana skies! Love the contrast. Blessinngs, Sarah

Moannie said...

No doubts, you are the best.

Enjoy your weekend.

NitWit1 said...

Isn't that just like a bunch of sheep?!!!

However this happens with my dog, the squirrels, the birds.. I am too slow.

Maggie May said...

I don't suppose that they see many people about. You must have spooked them! Like the way the lone trees make the scene look so desolated.

It's funny how these memes can affect outings and travelling. I often think *That'll make a good Watery Wednesday* or *Photostory Friday!* Seems I base my outings on things like that. You seem to be doing the same!

i beati said...

sorry I lost your email in my latest computer crash, but I'd like to nominate Female Rabbi Marci and her tribute to the guard who was killed at the Holocaust museum this past week. she certainly encapsulated what I wanted to hear in my heart..thanks David

http://moosh2.blogspot.com/--June 11 post ..sk

Artist Unplugged said...

I love these photos...ewe shoot the best!!!!

Jeff B said...

Ya just never know where the next magnificent shot is going to come from do you?

It pays to have your camera at the ready.

Janie said...

I guess the sheep didn't want company. But it is a perfect pastoral scene, and it has real critters in it!

Kathleen said...

You know, I actually like your final shot best!

jinksy said...

...where sheep may safely graze...out-Bach?

Julie said...

I love the sky, so blue, would be perfect for sky watch friday and is perfect for the camera critters also.

Thumbelina said...

Ah yes. Sheep.
Don't ya just love 'em?
Such obedient creatures.
I'm not sure shat they're obedient too mind....
So great shots. Considering they're sheep!

Thumbelina said...

That should read...

I'm not sure what they're obedient to...

It's a typo. Honest it is.

All those reviewing the book - I agree. And any waiting to read it - you won't be disappointed. I just hope you one day pen a sequel for the children of the characters....

cheshire wife said...

Lovely shots even if the sheep were camera shy.