My day starts with a 45 km round trip down a dirt road to the main homestead. Coming into the cooler months the Boomi-Mungindi Road becomes pretty busy, with kangaroo’s, foxes and wild pigs ducking across the road to escape into adjoining crops and bushland. With the majority of winter crop planting completed our menagerie of bush animals are nibbling sweet grasses growing on the side of the road, and waiting for our crops to get a few inches above the ground so they can tuck into them. Kangaroos are the worst offenders. The delightful marsupial on our Coat of Arms has short sharp teeth, perfect for decimating crops. On average 10% of crops are lost to our furry offenders. This percentage is a state-wide average. Wild pigs come next. They love making nests in the middle of cultivations. They dig into the ground with their snouts as they search for seedlings and later when the crops are thigh-high they make nests in the cultivations by pushing crop and dirt together into wide, foot high mounds. I love foxes. Don’t ask me why but there is something incredibly fascinating about these creatures with their inquisitive nature, glossy pelts and bushy tails. Maybe my love affair began with Basil. The fox on the ABCs children program years ago. At the risk of showing my age; Boom, Boom!

Boomi-Mungindi Road

Unfortunately, foxes are like wild dogs and dingoes, with a tendency to prey on the weak. Foxes are the number one killers of newborn lambs and they don’t always wait for the birthing process to be complete before launching an assault. But back to my commute. Dawn came with a rush of pinks and yellows and that crisp, tangy scent that only approaching winter brings.

With light the bush wakes quickly and as I get closer to the homestead the road becomes somewhat of an obstacle course with sheep and cattle also vying for road space. Sometimes it feels as if you’re the only person in the world out here, that is, until you arrive at the homestead and it’s down to business for another day.

Behind a roadtrain