Sunday, 2 November 2008


Earth Science Camp, Episode 6:
It was the butcher bird that woke me. Ironic that it should be the same bird that wakes me at home. Then the finches started and I had no chance of going back to sleep. My sister-in-law describes the sound they make very succinctly as ‘someone stomping on frogs’. So, even though it was only 5 am and I’d hardly slept (I’d shared my ‘donga’ with myriad moths, grasshoppers and mosquitoes) I got out of bed, dressed, grabbed my camera and stumbled into the dawn.

There’s nothing quite like watching the sun come up on the edge of the desert. The sand glows and each scrubby tree casts a fascinating shadow. The contrast of the orange-red with the purple is exhilarating. My camera didn’t stop clicking for the next hour.

I soon discovered the artworks. Apparently a class of art students once visited the station and used junk that was lying around to create their art. It’s a shame I can’t put a name to the pieces in these photos. They deserve to be recognised.

I didn’t have to waken the girls. The smell of bacon and eggs cooking on the barbecue soon had them outside. As they looked around at the place that last night they’d imagined to be the end of the earth, a new look came over their faces. This place was so different, so strange, so innately beautiful. By the time the boys came out they were begging to be allowed to stay another day.

I’ve never seen so much bacon, eggs and sausages devoured in so short a time. Even Eldest, who normally can’t be persuaded to eat more than a very small bowl of cereal in a morning, grinned at me over the top of his mountain of food as he went to the table.

All too soon it was time to go. Half reluctantly, half in anticipation of the long road back home at last, our bags were thrown back onto the trailer and we stomped onto the bus. The teacher and I both had brochures in our pockets, both with the same idea. Our spouses had to see this place. One day we’ll get them there for a quiet weekend of camping without the kids.
Facts about teenagers - No.6: Note to mothers at wit's-end trying to get their child up for school - Teenagers like to sleep, but they also like to eat. The smell of a good breakfast cooking will rouse even the tiredest fifteen-year-old.


Rena said...

Oh, I love the pictures! The artwork is really cool. My girls would love that horse. Interesting about the food too. It's amazing what being out in the open air will do to someone's appetite.

C.R. Evers said...

Wow! Those pictures are amazing and so is the artwork! What an extra special treat to come upon those!

Sounds like (and looks like) a wonderful trip!

I loved the insights on teens too! :0)


Luc2 said...


I was never much of a fan of deserts (desserts, that's another matter), but they're beautiful at sunrise and sunset.

Angela said...

What beautiful pictures. As you know, I have a thing for trees, especially on a barren type landscape--the contrast is always memorable. Thanks for sharing your trip and insight with us!

Kate said...

Thanks to you all for staying with me for the duration of the trip. Who'd have thought I could extend three short days into 6 days worth of blogs? I could probably write even more...but I think it's time to change the topic.