When I was kid, I remember a book I had, written in verse, with delightful drawings, about a farm family in Australia. Now I have idea who wrote or illustrated it; in fact, what I chiefly remember about it is something I accepted absolutely as a child. Instead of having the four seasons in it as per a European or American type book, it had the four seasons à la Australia: flood, bushfire, drought and … finally … a good season when things weren’t flooded, too dry or on fire. Oh, how true that is in so much of farming or station country.
Usually it fills up only about once in 50 years or so, when it can be 4 metres deep (14′). And it is a tad on the large size. Almost 9000 sq.kms. That’s 3,400 sq miles. Once full, it takes years to dry up again. The water doesn’t run out. This is below sea level and there is nowhere to go.
Just look at those cloudless skies.
They spent a night camped on a channel of the Warburton River at Cowarie station (in cattle country, Australia has stations, not ranches) where the water was moving at 20 knots. There’s a really interesting video about what the water means to the station owner – a woman – here: