click on pix to see them bigAbout 40 kilometres west of Quilpie we turned on to the Diamantina Developmental Road. For a while there were barely noticeable landscape changes apart from an overall increase in sandiness and the first sand hill. We spotted our first feral cat, sharing roadkill with an eagle. It was a grey tabby and no bigger than a domestic cat. I'm not sure why I'd imagined feral cats would be bigger. I've probably read far too many fanciful reports of large feral cats roaming isolated regions. We wondered, had there not been dead meat by the roadside, whether the cat would have been prey to the eagle. Shortly afterwards there was another cat, and then another – ginger this time – by Kyabra Creek. I parked hurriedly and stalked, hoping to get a photo, but the cat had too much of a head start and disappeared into undergrowth. The subject of feral cats in Australia is a big one that provokes highly polarised opinions and debate about eradication – and requires its own post at a later date.
Kyabra Creek flows into Cooper Creek. It is 155 kilometres in length but drops only 23 metres over its course and flows through 9 major waterholes.
Talking of ferals, this caught our eye further on. Wild dogs are also a problem in these parts – as are pigs, goats, rabbits, foxes and more – but obviously these two no longer pose a risk to native fauna or stock.
Quilpie Shire became Barcoo Shire, Barcoo being the name of the river that joins with the Thomson to form Cooper Creek. We came across a different use for the road. Good idea, except at night I suspect white lines aren't quite as effective as landing lights.
We crossed over Deadman Channel Bridge before reaching Copper Creek. Dead Horse; Dead Man; they're very popular names in the bush, I've found. And rest assured, there will have been a dead horse or a dead man there once upon a time.
For many people Spinifex and red soil = Outback.
This is a pie melon, I think; a type of squash. We'd seen them before, in Charleville. How can such a watery vegetable grow in the desert?
the others are the Diamantina, Georgina and Finke