One trip EVERY month: July

This is a story of mud, bats and abandoned boats.  But it’s also a story of a certain beauty I found in a suburb that was far from a favourite when I was a child.  Fifty years ago, Wynnum was a Brisbane suburb about 20 minutes away from our house, down the road on the edge of Moreton Bay.  In my small mind, families poorer than mine lived there.

So it was weird this month to be holidaying in Wynnum, in a street where many of the old homes have been renovated by owners richer than their ancestors.

My memory of the bay is of mud flats, the poor man’s waterfront.  Sure enough, as I approached the esplanade for the first time in a long time, it was night, but there was enough city light to see the vast expanse of mud.

Wynnum, tide out, evening
Wynnum, tide out, evening

When I walked to the esplanade in the morning, there was still nothing to see but mud, and rocks tumbling across it from the raised walkway.

Mudflats, Wynnum
Mudflats, Wynnum

To make a fair comparison, I had to see the bay when the tide was in, so I returned mid-afternoon which seems to be a good time to see the sand and sea, sans mud.

Wynnum, tide in, afternoon
Wynnum, tide in, afternoon

For water views there’s not only the ocean;  there’s Wynnum creek and the mangroves where bats sleep, black, upside down and ugly.

Bats, Wynnum mangroves
Bats, Wynnum mangroves

But they’re not half as ugly as these abandoned boats in the creek, which the locals must find shameful.  Whose responsibility is it to dispose of them?

So, Wynnum has mudflats, bats and abandoned boats.  Is there anything good about this suburb?  Well, there’s an excellent jetty that projects far enough out into the bay to enable reflection on symmetry, or to turn your back on the mud and reflect on Moreton Island in the distance.

Jetty, Wynnum
Jetty, Wynnum

And there are Queenslanders.  I’m a Queenslander because I grew up in Queensland.  But there are also houses that are Queenslanders, and that’s what you can see in Wynnum, beautifully renovated high-set weatherboard homes, set on stumps to allow airflow under the house, keeping it cooler in the sub-tropical heat.  And from upstairs, many of these homes have a view of the bay, a peaceful sight whether the tide’s in or out.

Queenslander home
Queenslander home

The name Wynnum is possibly derived from Winnam, an Aboriginal word for Pandanus tree, a great number of which grow in the shore-side parks and streets.  Pandanus is a palm-like tree with roots growing out and down in a pyramid form to keep it balanced…

Pandanus tree - Wynnum

… and it produces large fruit resembling a pineapple.  Bats and possums love it, and it’s edible for humans, as are most parts of the Pandanus tree.  As I walked down the street I caught sight of some niblets of the fruit under one of the trees, looking sadly up at me.

Pandanus seeds
Pandanus seeds

Moreton Bay.  A quiet place.  I’m glad I took the trip.

Moreton Bay, Wynnum
Moreton Bay

See some more monthly trips on Marianne’s East of Málaga.  She challenges us to take one trip EVERY month.

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Relic

In a Pioneer Museum in Queensland this week I saw a number of objects that are relics of Australia’s past.  There was the original Dalby lockup, and a cottage with a backyard toilet, an old boxy TV with a remote connected by a power cord, and bones of local dinosaurs.  There was also a collection which would normally do nothing for me:  one of Australia’s largest gatherings of old agricultural machinery.  But wandering through the open sheds, expecting nothing, I found something.  The old beauties in the photos below are really my scene.  I would have loved a ride in any of them.  Well, almost any.  There was this jazzy yellow Ford truck:

Truck, Pioneer Museum, Dalby, Queensland

A 1957 Chevrolet fire engine:

Fire engine, Dalby Pioneer Museum, Queensland

A train whose chugging days are over:

Train, Dalby Pioneer Museum

And weirder than all of the retired vehicles on display, and one I don’t want a ride in, is this Chandler hearse, one of only two left in the world.  I can’t say for sure there was no one in that box:

I was in Dalby to speak to someone in the historical society, hoping to find a few relics from my family tree…  On a map, Dalby appears as the centre of a spidery star with numerous roads radiating out from it.  Or is it that all roads in the region lead to Dalby?  This town is the centre of a great farming region, the Darling Downs.  The cultivated landscape is hill-free, tree-free, flat as if it’s been levelled, nothing but rolling plains of cereal and vegetable garden either side of the road.  A few cows and sheep congregate under trees, when there are trees.  Dalby was proclaimed a township in 1853, though my pioneering relatives were there a decade earlier, squatting on land, claiming it as their own.  It’s all been divided up and sold off now, but it’s inspiring to know I had self-starters in my family.

Thanks to the retirees who run the Pioneer Park Museum and historical society, who care for our relics, for without them we wouldn’t know about the stages in our development, we wouldn’t understand the progress we’ve made and are making every time we try to do something that’s never been done before, like our pioneers.

See hundreds of relics on the WordPress photo challenge.

 

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