Flinders Ranges Moments

14 Aug

Grazing sheep in the Flinders Ranges

Dear Reader:

Several deep gorges cut through the Flinders Ranges from east to west. They can be comfortably traversed by conventional vehicles in dry weather but in the wet they are hazardous and 4WD is a necessity. In these images I push my vehicle through relatively shallow water after measuring the depth first then attach a tow rope to a vehicle that didn’t quite make it.

A calculated and tested crossing

Didn’t get it quite right

The Flinders Ranges are around 800 million years old and are the result of the uplifting, folding and consequent erosion of an ancient, shallow sea bed. Their sedimentary rocks contain fossils of some of the Earth’s earliest life forms known as the Ediacra fauna. The ranges are the ancestral home of the Adnyamathanha (pronounced ud-ya-mutna) people who have lived there for over 40,000 years.

Layers (strata) of sedimentary rock

Four different kinds of Macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) live in the Flinders ranges: Western Grey Kangaroos, Red Kangaroos, Euros or Common Wallaroos and Yellow-footed Rock-Wallabies. Western Greys live in low forested areas, Reds prefer dry open plains, Euros live in the foothills and the rare Yellow-footed Rock-Wallabies prefer higher rocky slopes. There is some overlap between the habitats of all these species.

Red Kangaroos

Euro, Hill Kangaroo or Wallaroo

Yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby feeding in Brachina Gorge

Birdlife is prolific throughout the ranges and include a wide variety of species ranging from tiny finches and Budgerigars to Wedge-tailed Eagles and Emus. While taking friends from the USA around Wilpena Pound and Brachina Gorge, in the heart of the Flinders, we stopped to photograph birds on numerous occasions.

Getting up close

Nice result

This wild and beautiful region has much to offer in terms of fauna both ancient and modern. However, the plants of this rugged landscape are just as fascinating: Sugar Gums, Cypress-pine, Flinders Wattle, Flax Lilies and the SA state emblem the Sturt’s Desert Pea are just a few examples.

Sturt’s Desert Pea

Although the Flinders Ranges is a truly wild destination it also has a significant human perspective. There are ancient First Nations art sites, a world-renowned hotel featuring local cuisine, working stations (farms) and a significant arts and crafts community. From my own perspective as a photographer, there are the remnants of old settlements such as stockyards, settler ruins, old mine shafts and other relics of the Flinder’s early settlement, all backed by stunning landscapes.

Lunch at the Prairie Hotel

Cheers

Baz

Additional notes

Please pass on this blog title and or contact information (URL) to any person or organisation with an interest in taking walks and enjoying wildlife in SA.

Click on this link and see more South Australian stories and pictures in my Weekend Notes articleshttps://www.weekendnotes.com/profile/651267/

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