Mick and I were both free this afternoon so we hopped in the car and went for a little drive.
You see, over the last few year there has been a cycle race"B 2 B". Blayney to Bathurst. The long course is 110kms and the short course is 70kms. Things have now expanded to the point that this weekend will host the Bathurst Cycling Classic, as there is also a street race in the centre of town and a hill climb.
For the last couple of years Blayney Council has run a Hay Bale Art Challenge in conjuction with the cycle race. Therefore, we decided to go for a drive to check out the hay bales.
Now, to step back a little bit. I use a little point and shoot camera which has a nice zoom capability. The last two cameras have unfortunately ended up with dust inside the lens. My current camera has ended up with a cat hair inside the lens. How a cat hair works its way in there is beyond me, but it has happened.
It's been there for a little while but hasn't affected the photos, but I noticed when we were at Baradine that if I took a photo into the sun it was definitely visible. Not a good look for the album.
Today we took it back into the shop and it is still under product care, so is being sent back for assessment and hopefully replacement. In the mean time I needed a camera, so we bought a new little one. Hopefully, the insurance will cover the cost for most of it. Today was a good day to start using it.
Back to our outing.
Our first stop was the coffee shop at the infomation centre at Blayney. We also had a chance to have a sticky in a few shops, as it is very rare we get to Blayney in business hours.
Then it was time to wend our way home via the route of the cycle race and check out the hay bales.
We were impressed that there was a sign in the lead up to each installation and at each site there was room to get off the road to take a photo.
The road that the race follows is one we very rarely drive, so it was a nice, picturesque outing as well, even though it was quite close to home.
There are lots of old shearing sheds in the area.
The village of Barry really got into the spirit, greeting us with Mulga Bill with token hay bale.
The detailing was very good. I wonder if he is also used for some of the folk festivals celebrating Banjo Patterson's writings.
There was a sign at the front of the above two, "It takes a village to build a village".
While in Barry we noticed this interesting collection of old caravans at the back of a house - obviously being used as sheds.
Back out in the paddocks we came across quite a few more creations.
This truck was clever. When you looked at the front it had a pallet as a grille and the windscreen, complete with wipers was painted on. There's many a farmer would be happy to have that load of hay at the moment. Another thing we noticed on our little trip was the number of paddocks where cattle were being fed.
I think this one was my favourite.
The attention to detail was amazing. It's fun to look at the features and work out what had been used. Flower pots featured and I love the cow catcher made from star pickets. It look s like there are solar flood lights to illuminate it at night.
Another favourite was the "Shear-o-matic". The red light at the top of the bales was flashing, so it looked very technical. People certainly have a good imagination and sense of humour.
This fellow was a feature at the intersection at the village of Hobbys Yards. Very clever.
At this point the short course turned left and the long course turned right. Which way to go? We turned right. Bad move! No more hay bales. The course travelled all the way to Trunkey Creek.
We took a dirt road back across towards Newbridge, which we haven't travelled for many years, hoping to get back onto the hay bale route. Unfortunately, we didn't see any more, but we loved what we did see.
By now the afternoon was marching on and we were enjoying that late afternoon golden light. The season is terribly dry, but the landscape is still stunning.
As we came back into town Mick noticed this large pile of hay and declared it was the art supply store and that they should have got into the act. Cheeky begger. Oh, and the marks on the photo are bugs on the windscreen, not marks in the lens of my new camera, which seems quite good to use.
To finish off, we enjoyed a lovely sunset, albeit back in the middle of suburbia.