Heading for the hills

We left Streaky Bay after filling our water tanks. This is the first time we have had to pay for water as it is pretty scarce down this way. We used the coin operated water pump provided. M

water pay pump streaky bay
Streaky bay pay water pump

We stopped briefly in Poochera for fuel and discovered it’s claim to fame. This was not just a town with a another big thing. What made this town special (and it had nothing else) was the extremely rare “dinosaur ant” discovered there in 1977. It is so rare that in scientific circles it is classed as the Holy Grail of the ant world. Discovered by Dr Robert Taylor on an expedition with other ant enthusiasts. Yes, for some people it’s birds and for others ants. M

dinosaur ant
They are ugly but we love these ants already and we have not even seen one. They are very timid, nocturnal, and don’t come out in temps warmer than 20deg C. It is just so unlikely you would ever be annoyed or bitten by one of these guys, unlike the millions of their cousins we meet daily out here!

 

dinosaur ant sign

dinosaur ants
I told Steve he shouldn’t ride the thing!

While we were getting petrol a road train pulled up full of sheep. There were 4 levels squashed into each car. The poor things. There has got to be a better way to travel. At least it wasn’t hot. It would be terrible in the summer. Mroad train sheep

We camped that night at Pildappa Rock. It is a huge red rock that looks like it is made of the same type of rock as Ayers Rock and some consider it to rival wave rock in Western Australia. It was an easy climb to the top. Steve went back up for the sunset while I cooked a lentil ragu for dinner. M

pildappa rock colours
Nice colours and lichens
pildappa rock camp
Pildappa rock free camp

pildappa rock with maddy

pildappa rock tree maddy and keddy
The lone tree on top.   Keddy is tucked down on the right.

pildappa rock

steve in the hole
A lot of swimming holes on the top if only it would rain!
the old swimming hole
Wheat farming surrounds the rock
dirty solar panels
From the rock we could see just how dirty our solar panels are! Next water for cleaning Coober Pedy!
pildappa rock sunset
Sunset from the highest point on the rock, about 25m above the surrounding wheat farmland.

As the sun sank below the horizon I managed to capture the green flash phenomenon.   When the sun is low the atmosphere refracts light from the sun, bending it around the horizon.  However like a prism, it bends the green and blue light a bit more than red light  So during the last 1 or 2 seconds of the sunset first the red disappears over the horizon so the sun briefly turns yellow (as can be seen in the first photo below) then the yellow disappears leaving green and blue light.   However as the atmosphere scatters blue light, we only get to see the green (seen in the 2nd photo below, which was taken about 1 second later)  S

green flash from pildappa rockgreen flash from pildappa rock 2

 

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