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Photographer's Note

The kestrel hovers in the sky, keeping its sharp eyes out for some poor rabbit, on a stormy afternoon on Harkers Creek Farm. A dead eucalyptus looks stark against the gloomy, stormy mass of cloud and rain which is approaching fast.

Taken just a week before Christmas, during a weekend when several centimeters of rain fell on an area which had already received 160cm for the year. In one of the brief sunlit periods of the Saturday I ventured out to take some shots in the wonderful late afternoon light, thinking the dead gum trees would make good subjects against the stormy sky before the deluge began again. The bird of prey obliged me for several minutes, hovering and hovering above some wretched rabbit. Rabbits are an introduced species here, and Australian farmers would do anything to get rid of them, so please don't feel sorry for the bunnies resident in Australia! Numerous attempts have been made to eradicate them, but all have failed.

I've uploaded numerous shots from this farm and other locations near the tiny hamlet of Mitta Mitta, about 400km from Melbourne, which you can find in my gallery. For those who like to look at maps, I did my best to pin the marker on the very spot where I was standing, although I know the maps often show the marker in a different position. If you do look at the map and zoom right in, you may see the farm's road from the Omeo Highway (the 'highway' is a dirt road at this point!) is called 'Porridge Farm Road'. That's the old, original name of the farm. Zooming out will show how remote the farm is; even Mitta Mitta township, 17km away, has only a few dozen people, one shop, a policeman, a school with 12 students, and a hotel.

I wish all my friends on TE a Happy New Year and a healthy 2011.

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Additional Photos by Andrew McRae (macondo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2874 W: 101 N: 4800] (18551)
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