For a nature buff there's lots to see and experience - wildlife, rocks, gorges, sky, trees, shrubs and flowers.
The easiest animals to see are the large mammals. They're generally shy though, and you have to be quick or lucky with the camera.
Without binoculars you tend to hear birds more than see them.
|unidentified, well camouflaged spider|
|Common Glider (Trapezostigma loewii), male|
There are also feral animals: rabbits, goats, cats and dogs. These do a lot of harm to native wildlife and vegetation.
In the Flinders Ranges there are rocks so ancient they help us to understand the distant history of the planet. Most of the rocks were laid down in the sea 500 to 1500 million years ago.
|Clockwise from top right: Echium lycopsis - Salvation Jane,|
Asphodelus fistulosus - Onion Weed,
Rumex vesicarius - Ruby Dock - introduced weeds.
|Clockwise from top right: Eucalyptus socialis - Red Mallee, |
Acacia tetragonophylla - Dead Finish,
Callitris columellaris - Native Pine, Solanum quadriloculatum- Tomato Bush
|Olearia pimeleoides ssp. pimeleoides - Showy Daisy Bush|
|Pilotus obovatus var.obovatus - Silver Mulla Mulla|
|Solanum quadriloculatum- Tomato Bush and Senna artemisiodes - Desert Cassia|
It rarely rains, and everywhere you see dry creek beds. In the extremely rare occurrence of torrents of rain, the creeks and rivers fill up and there are floodplains as far as the eye can see. When we were there we saw little water.
|Dry creek beds lined with River Red Gums - Eucalyptus camaldulensis|
Drinking water is obtained from tanks that collect rain water.
|Along the Hans Heysen trail, Parachilna Gorge|
|Dry dusty road|
For other uses of water, for sheep and cattle and for washing, bore water is pumped from below the surface of the earth.
|taken from Flinders Ranges Research|
When white people settled, they cleared the land for mining, pasture and stock, and many trees were chopped down to provide timber for use in building and in mines.
Today part of the Flinders Ranges is conserved and protected as a National Park, and tourism is a profitable industry. But we mustn't get complacent. Mining and development companies are formidable lobby groups. Brown coal is still mined in nearby Leigh Creek. So hopefully the area will stay wild and natural for a long, long time.