Today we went for a drive over to Mudgee to visit the Small Farm Field Days. We first visited back in 1986 just after we were married. It was held at the local showgrounds back then and was much smaller. We made some big purchases that year – Mick bought his chainsaw, which he still uses, and we spend some wedding present money on a beautiful timber butcher block trolley, which we jammed into the back seat of my little Corolla. It was VERY expensive, for our meagre budget, but we are so pleased that we bought it, as it is still our main work surface in the kitchen and has never dated.
The Field Days have grown so much over the years, and we continued to attend every year, until 5 years ago, when we were overseas. We haven’t been back since, so thought it was time to see what they were like now.
It started out very foggy this morning and this lovely spiders web caught our eye on the back verandah.
One thing we always look forward to on our drive to the Field Days is seeing our first wattle for the season in one small patch near Ilford. We were not disappointed this year.
Right next to this bush was a lovely egg and bacon bush as well.
Excuse the dirty windscreen, but I had to take a quick snap of Lake Windemere in the sunshine and looking nice and full for a change.
We weren’t looking for anything in particular at the Field Days, just having a general wander around. Mick always likes to see the old tractors on display and this one caught our eye – early broadacre farming. It is a 1964 model Case and came from Nyngan. It had cost $20,000 when purchased new in 1965. That would have been some investment.
I was delighted to see that the Coolah patchwork shop had a stand in the main pavilion. I’ve never had the chance to visit, as they are only open a couple of days a week. Their display was really pretty and they had a nice range of goods for sale.
Yes, of course I made a little purchase.
Due to all the rain we have had over the last week the car park was a quagmire. There was a tractor at the ready to tow out the vehicles that got bogged. Fortunately, most of the roadways in the grounds were fine. It was dry today, but cool and a bit breezy, so not too bad at all.
Gum boots were the footwear of choice, but I just wore sturdy walking boots, which were fine. I pitied the poor people doing the complementary boot cleaning to sell their products.
After we had finished having our look around we went into town for lunch and a bit of a walk. Another first for the season were some daffodils in the park. It is still too early for them at our place.
Our plan was to drop in and visit some friends after lunch, but there was nobody home, so we took a detour home instead. This was something we also did in those early years of our visits. We would get over to Mudgee nice and early and then have a leisurely drive home, trying a different little dirt road each year. Believe me, there are lots of little dirt roads in that part of the country.
It would probably be 20 years since we have driven home this way.
No offence to anyone that lives along this route, but it is banjo country. Steep, rugged, scrubby country. There are lots of little old cottages, shacks, weekenders and what Mick referred to as “Complexes”, consisting of various sheds, old caravans, shipping containers and broken down old vehicles.
I don’t think I have been on a road with so many causeways.
Most of them had water over the road. It was so nice to see full dams and all the waterways running nicely.
We reached the thriving metropolis of Windeyer and had two roos jump across in front of us, right in the village. You can just see one scaling the fence here.
Windeyer has a camp ground and a rustic old pub. It would be a nice place to go and camp for a weekend getaway.
It is hard country out this way, and as a consequence, is also the home of many of Australia’s best fine merino breeders. Lots of interesting looking shearing sheds.
After a while we came to this intersection and knew that we had come the right way.
I always love the view from this point. Those hills look so wild.
We arrived home just before dark after a really enjoyable day out.
Tomorrow we intend having a leisurely start to the day and to stay home, which will be just as enjoyable.