Rain, Drought and Cattle Drives

I arrived home on Late Wednesday afternoon. It started raining on Wednesday evening and has hardly let up since, Adelaide has suffered flooding in some areas and little  creeks have become torrents. There are no reports of any injuries, just flooding and damage to  houses – roofs have caved in. The emergency service has been busy answering calls for assistance – in Adelaide.  Here it has been heavy at times with only minor flooding of roads, not houses as in Adelaide. My son walked to the gym from his place, then as another rain storm hit, called me and asked if I would come and pick him up and drop him home. Well, isn’t that what dad’s are for??

The modern cattleman with his horse and his mobile (cell )phone

The dogs have not been for walks for a week now and even as I write it is raining again. Hate to go on about this weather but it really is quite wild – the wildest it has been in ten years. And it’s strange to think that despite all the rain and flooding in Queensland last year – it’s in drought because of the failure of the monsoon. I think they are getting our dry cold weather and we’re getting their wet, cold weather. Not impressed – they can have it back anytime they wish. Anyway, because of the drought conditions in Queensland the graziers (cattlemen) have started doing something that has not been done for  nearly a century – they have started droving.  Droving is a particularly Australian word  which simply  means  “A Cattle Drive” with horses, chuck wagons and camping out at night. In other parts of Queensland there is plenty of feed and water but the law states that they must move the cattle 10 miles per day. The are not allowed to stay in one area – other than an overnight stay. All very cool – shades of Rowdy Yates and “Rawhide”. It’s cheaper to pay  and feed a dozen men  for two or three weeks than it is to transport the cattle by road. The cattle are not the best because of the drought, but the water and feed on the drive will get them in good condition by the time they reach the stockyards.    Yes, like America, Australia has the “Tourist” cattle drive, but this is the real thing. There is talk of opening up parts of the national parks, which has the conservationists  in a tizzy. I think they would rather see the cattle die rather than let them touch a blade of grass of take a drop of water from their parks. Yes, yes, I will no doubt get told that it is a lot more complicated than that, but it’s an emergency – not a permanent arrangement and things are only complicated because we make them so.

One thought on “Rain, Drought and Cattle Drives

  1. I grew up reading the Billabong books, dreaming of going after cattle on horseback and droving. You have too much water, we have none. It actually rained last week, and sweeping up leaves today I couldn’t figure out what was different – then it hit me, they were wet! There weren’t clouds of dust around them. Then the clouds blew away again :(


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