On safari-- wildlife and nature photos

Wide brown land

"...of droughts and flooding rains..."**
**from Dorothy Mackellar's poem My Country


*After the rain
Click images to enlarge
*Island Lagoon salt lake Outback storm cloudsRed Banks

The photographs above were taken in South Australia's north...at left, in the mallee country a few days after heavy rain had ended several years of drought; at centre-left, on the shore of a dry salt lake in the north-west; at centre-right, as a front passed over the arid land in the north-east towards Broken Hill; and at right, as afternoon winter sun illuminates the landscape of Red Banks Conservation Park on the edge of the eastern mallee country. An asterisk * preceding an image denotes medium format.

The next page Outback wildlife shows what a magnet water is to the animals of this land. My third outback page Awesome salt lakes shows the stunning scenery of the salt pans which sprawl across large areas. Both feature such delightful creatures as the Painted dragon ⇒Painted dragon

Before the rain Ruins in the Flinders Ranges End of the road End of the road
In Australia's arid and semi-arid inland, drought frequently sabotages man's endeavours

Red Banks CP Red Banks CP Red Banks CP

When rain has come, its power is demonstrated in the red-earth cliffs lining watercourses in Red Banks Conservation Park on the edge of the eastern mallee country. Red Banks is regarded by palaeontologists as an important megafauna site, home many thousands of years ago to a giant wombat-like marsupial, the Diprotodon

Mallee country    The distant wall of Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges   * Rail track & Lake Hart, far north   The Pinnacles, Broken Hill region
These images represent just a morsel of the outback. As well as the mallee country, they're from the Flinders Ranges and the salt lakes of South Australia's north, and the Broken Hill region of New South Wales

*Mallee scrub
Magnificent mallee

* In the late afternoon sun * Mallee scrub Red sand ridge Triodia 'Spinifex grass' *Triodia and mallee scrub *Dead wood Stunted shea-oaks or casuarinas

Passing storm  Stormy sunset *Morning calm in better times

The bush of the flat or gently undulating mallee country is dominated alternately by low-growing multi-stemmed Eucalypts called 'mallee' and pine-like Shea-oaks (Casuarina), prickly clumps of 'porcupine grass' (Triodia) and bluebush. There's lots of dead wood...ideal habitat for little creatures. Danggali Conservation Park is bounded by sheep stations such as Pine Valley, whose dams provide water not just for the sheep but also the wildlife. But they can soon dry up in times of drought, and passing storms make only vain promises of rain

Outback character and colour

*Outback character   * Outback character    Outback character

For many years after its death, this tree brings character to the outback, and life in the form of shelter in its hollows for small creatures

Fringed lily    Ptilotus       Carpet of yellow   
    Pigface succulent   Pigface   

The wildflowers of the outback are usually small, delicate and subtle, only occasionally gaudy, but some can appear in such numbers that they create a carpet of colour

Alpana vista   Blinman pools   Cazneaux tree    River red gum   Yakkas, or grasstrees   Towards Bunyeroo Gorge   Near Bunyeroo Gorge

The mountains of the Flinders Ranges are far from big-- the highest point is St Mary's Peak at 1,170 metres-- but rugged and picturesque. They are also old: their visible geological features are well over 600 million years old in many cases. Perhaps their best-known feature is Wilpena Pound, a basin covering 75 square kilometres. The first image above is a view over Alpana Station, a sheep property of 50,000 acres just north of the Flinders Ranges National Park. The next picture shows a permanent rock pool in Blinman Creek, on the Alpana property. This country's many watercourses, dry for most of the year, are marked by magnificent river red gums, many of them hundreds of years old. The centre image is of a tree named after Harold Cazneaux, who photographed the tree near Wilpena Pound in 1937. The tree in the next photograph is near Youncoona waterhole. The views on the right are near Bunyeroo Gorge

View from the Pinnacles  *Lake Pamamaroo  Lake Pamamaroo sunset  Lake Wetherell   Sturt desert pea

Storm front near Broken Hill   Approaching front

The small mining city of Broken Hill is situated in a semi-desert landscape, and is in the process of adapting to a new industry-- tourism-- as its big underground mines approach the end of their useful life. The city relies for most of its water on the Menindee lakes, more than 100 kilometres to the south-east on the River Darling. As well as being a haven for wildlife, the lakes, the river and the associated Kinchega National Park are a recreational focus for the people

Next pages, Outback wildlife and  Awesome salt lakes

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Where the photos were taken Click the link to locate the Flinders Ranges, Danggali Conservation Park and Broken Hill and Woomera regions


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