Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Penny and Larry, out in the bush

Penny and Larry's
place is just
at the top of the
clearing in the
of this image -
taken from Robertson

It is tempting to call this post "The secret lives of others". That is
because Penny and Larry live "off the grid", in every sense. No power, no water, no sewerage, hardly a road to speak of - well the road is not bad, but they are some 10 Km past a locked gate, down an access trail within the Budderoo National Park.
Not many people know they are there, and arrangements have be made to access their property via the locked gate at the entrance of the Budderoo NP. So, in many senses, they live a secret life, but not a secretive one. The tranquility is entrancing. So is their hospitality.

Penny gathering wild
raspberries in the bush

Penny enjoys gathering wild Raspberries (Rubus rosifolius) on their property.
Penny cooks a lovely jam, or spread, from these berries. It has a wild flavour, but it is truly delightful when served with cheese and biscuits (as I can attest).
Apparently Penny's condiment is available to buy in the delicatessan at the "Old Cheese Factory", Robertson.

Lyrebird's cleared
"dance mound" amongst
wild Raspberry bushes.
There are Lyrebird "display mounds" cleared out, amongst those dense Raspberry bushes. The Lyrebirds (perhaps Australia's most famous songbird) act like very aggressive "chooks", and clear away all the vegetation (the bushes you see around Penny). These bushes get ripped out and an area about 1 metre in diameter is cleared as a display mound for the male bird to perform his song and dance routine.

Penny displaying the
depth of
the entrance
of a Wombat's burrow

Now, it doesn't get much "bushier" than this - Penny is testing (displaying) the depth of the local Wombat burrow entrance. The soil there is so deep that Wombats have free range to dig and dig huge burrow entrances, and that is before they even start to dig the burrow itself. Even in Robertson, the local Wombats don't excavate such huge burrow entrances.

Penny's roly-poly puppies
romping up the hill,
back towards the house.
When we went to check out the Lyrebird mounds, and to inspect the Raspberries, we were accompanied by a roly-poly, rag-tag assembly of Penny's little Maltese Terriers.
Great little pups, and very happy creatures.

The Robertson range
the distance.
15 Km away.

One can clearly see the Robertson range from Penny and Larry's place, some 15 Km in a straight line - across the "Upper Kangaroo Valley" (as it is called). Of course, from the perspective of Penny and Larry's place, the Upper Kangaroo Valley is low, or very much lower, so the title "upper" always seems an anomaly.

Robertson range, topped by
the radio relay tower on
Mackey's Lane.
They are as remote as one can get, and still be close to "town" (if you accept Robertson as "town"). Next point of contact would be Jamberoo, in the other direction. But Jamberoo is on the coastal strip, so that is another world.

The view across
from Robertson
I was invited to visit Penny and Larry, with Jim and Songsri, who walked the 6 Km from their place near Carrington Falls, across the Budderoo. Their place is also visible in the photo at left, (taken from Robertson). Their place is the cleared farm in the middle level, just past the cliffs visible in the foreground. Those cliffs are the top of the "escarpment" which mark the Kangaroo Valley cliff line.


Miss Eagle said...

How beautiful, wonderful and an example to us all! Am curious to know how they manage the economics of their lives to sustain a life out there.

Blessings and blis

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Miss Eagle,
The house was home-made, self-built (over a very long time, apparently). That involved spending many years in a tin shed (so it hasn't always been idyllic) - but you would not expect that!
It is a working farm, and Larry also has a creative streak, and has invented a device called a "cow lifter". He makes and sells these devices - sometimes even overseas.
Penny illustrates books, and does "claymation" short films.
Thanks for your interest.

Jill Dyson said...

Nice to read your blog and looking forward to coming to meet you sometime soon. Have seen your raspberry paste around the Highlands and looking forward to learning more about your business - and the cow lifter as I used to be an Occupational Therapist working in farm safety!!!
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