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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Red Mud falling from the sky.

On Tuesday morning, 16 September 2008, the cars of Robertson were covered in a smattering of fine red mud. Over night winds had brought red dust from somewhere to the south and west (it was not Robertson dust). I had seen this storm coming in as a black line of cloud, just on sunset, as I was going in to Bowral on Monday evening. Then, overnight, there was a brief shower of rain (as often happens in Robertson). It rained mud.
Here are some images of the bonnet of my car, spattered with the now dry dust blobs, which clearly fell as muddy rain drops over night.
The grains of mud or dust, were not very fine, and felt like red sand to me - such as one might expect to find in Mildura, or the Victorian mallee. Robertson's red basalt soil creates much finer dust. The windy weather we experienced had been blowing in Victoria and southern NSW for two days before our little mud storm arrived.


Mosura said...

Fascinating! At least it's your gain - some one else has just lost half their top soil to wind erosion.

Now you've got me singing the Dust Pneumonia Blues by Woodie Guthrie :-)

mick said...

Interesting photos - but another indication of drought conditions and soil being lost I guess.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Denis,
Oh well, in to the car wash at Bowral. I've been hanging out for some rain here. A 'wet' front passed through Melbourne last night, headed this way. When it got to around the Latrobe Valley it did its usual thing and split in half. One half follows the Divide to our north and the other goes around the coast to the south. I'm watering greens, tees and fairways like it was mid summer at present.

Denis Wilson said...

In extreme cases, the snow on the New Zealand Alps has been coloured red - with Australian topsoil.
This was a minor incident, I suppose, but it was just easy to document the evidence on my little blue car.
Thanks for the comments Mosura and Mick. Gouldiae - sounds like your area and the golf course is in a rain shadow. Shame. No easy answers for that one.

Duncan said...

Red rain was a common thing when I was a kid in Melbourne, late thirties early forties, red earth from the Mallee.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Duncan
Sorry for the delay. I was away.
Yes, you are right. I grew up in Melbourne, and remember hearing about those dust storms, etc. The poor Soldier Settlers were blamed for clearing the Wimmera and Mallee. But they were just doing what the Government forced them into.
Stupid, stupid policy.
It has happened again today, in NSW. This time, blowing from Broken Hill direction.
Very sad.