688. Sunday 14th July 2019. Pioneer Valley, Botanical Gardens and pizza…

The final post in this weeks 3 stage report.

Saturday 13th July

I spent the morning working on the Facebook Photo Group, Aussie Photography for Beginners of which I am the Administrator. It keeps me busy most days but I like to get active on other things too.

Today I drove through Marian, Mirani, Gargett, Septimus, Pinevale then detoured through to Pinnacle and back home again.

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A row of scooters, tricycles and bicycles line the driveway to a farm property. A similar line of bikes is on the other side.

Once more the plan was to find abandoned houses, farms and sheds and anything else which seemed interesting. I found at least one house in Septimus which has been abandoned.

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Abandoned house. Note the collapsing archway.

From the roadway I could see the curtains which have rotted away.

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Clearly you can see the rotting curtins and clearly see the slim photographer.

This brick veneer house had brick archways along what I would call the front verandah. It is obvious the bricks in the archway are beginning to pull away from the rest of the bricks. I could not help but wonder what else was wrong with the house and what caused the people to leave. Basically it was a house in the middle of cane paddocks with no neighbours on either side nor across the road. Further along the road I stopped at a long timber trestle bridge built specially for cane trains.

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Impressive trestle bridge at Septimus.

Although the trains are not big and heavy as for example a steam train loco they are still quite big and can be seen pulling up to 300 bins laden with cut cane. I then realised I was on the road to Pineval after which I did not expect to find many houses so turned off on the Septimus – Pinnacle Road.

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Somewhere along the Septimus – Pinnacle Road is yet another abandoned house.

A few Klms along the road I came across another abandoned house and a clay tennis court which must have been somebody’s pride and joy. Now it is a reminder that some of the wealth has left the area along with the people who lived and worked in the cane industry. Now the tennis court is stripped of its boundary netting and weeds have broken what was once a tidy well maintained clay court.

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A tennis court no more.

As I walked around taking my photograhs a large Kookaburra sat on a power line watching my every move.

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A curios Kookaburra.

Hmmm! The same thing happened at Dolphin Heads two days ago.

On my way to Pinnacle I considered going to Teemburra Dam – another impoundment of the Pioneer River – but honestly there is little to see and is only of interest to fishermen who have a boat.

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Abandoned house in Pinnacle

Once at Pinnacle I stopped to look at a couple of abandoned houses and once again reflected on what caused people to leave. Once upon a time in the last century, during a dim period in my life, I toyed with the idea of buying a house at Pinnacle or even Gargett and becoming a recluse. It was a relatively short dim period and toying with those types of ideas are unproductive. Looking back on those thoughts and the towns of Pinnacle and Gargett today I am pleased I moved on. Looking at the people who do live there, they all look old before their time. It could be a partial reason why there are so many abandoned houses in the area. A lack of social interaction, limited friends, limited to no facilities, no medical or dental facilities within 50 Klms, dispersed family even aging houses needing constant maintenace probably all contributed to a general feeling of isolation and malaise.

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Abandoned house in Pinnacle.

Most of these small communities have no shops or community halls or anything else to anchor people. The communities are quite a long way out from any type of commercial actvity and as fewer people are needed to plant and harvest the cane there are no jobs. Pinnacle is a bit different as it is on a main road and has a pub which is famous for its meat pies and has local bands playing on Saturday nights. There is a small art gallery and a community theatre which has stage productions a couple of times a year. Once upon a time there were special trains which came from Mackay to Pinnacle bringing loads of people for the Saturday performance. Meals and drinks were provided by the playhouse players at Intermission. The only other business is a small coffee and cake type bistro which only opens on weekends. From here I headed along the Eungella Road heading towards Mackay. I turned off at Marian and took the Marian – Hampden Road to the Bruce Highway past The Leap and turned off at Farleigh and then a back road to Habana where I found a colourful pond calling out to be photographed in the late afternoon sun.130719 habana pond 130719 habana pond1130719 habana pond2

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A reflective pond at Habana.

From there I was almost home when I found a stand of trees on a hill in an otherwise flat grassed pasture.

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Trees on a hill silhoueted by the setting sun.

The setting sun was making an interesting feature of the trees which were also calling out to be photographed.130719 plantation palms

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A roundabout on the back road to Plantation Palms.

Sunday 14th July

Woke to brilliant sunshine but very chilly indoors and even chillier outside in the shade with a nasty cold wind blowing from the south west – always a sure sign we are in for several cold clear days.

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Mackay Botanical Gardens

After lunch I wandered off to the botanical gardens for a few photos.

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View across what was once known as Wetlands Lagoon is now part of the Mackay Botanical Gardens.

Some years ago, near the turn of the century,  1993 to be precise, the South Sea Islander Community were granted lands and funds at the end of what was then known as The Lagoons. It is now all incorporated into the Botanical Gardens. They built a wonderful large “hut” but in my opinion it is a large hall. At the time it had a thatched roof and walls.  A disgruntled person or persons set fire to the hut.  Only the thatched exterior burned and left the steel walls and roof intact. Nowadays the roof is entirely steel with no sign of the thatching. Some walls have bits of thatching intact but in the main those walls are as bare as the roof. 140719 ssi hutThe hut is still in regular use by the SSI community, especially for weddings.

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A water feature called Finch Hatton Creek.

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Later I went to my daughter Averyl for dinner. As I was leaving Plantation Palms I saw a huge flock of water birds circing and circling the area. I have never seen a flock of birds in such huge numbers.

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A flock of birds over the wetlands at Plantation Palms.

Averyl made pizza in the Weber BBQ and made the dough from scratch. I ate 3 slices which was one slice more than I should have. I did not have the heart to tell her I have not been eating carbs for almost 2 months.

Once home I weighed myself and came in at 75.2 Kg. That’s a drop of another .2Kg since early in the week so I suppose a little carbs did not hurt. My self imposed target of 72 Kg before my birthday in September is looking like a possibility and maybe even break the 70 Kg barrier.

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