nature · outside · travel

Somerset Dam in April

We celebrated our first school holidays by taking some time out to go to Somerset Dam. We decided in stay in a house rather than camp, mostly to make it easier to take the boat. We arrived at the house, unpacked, the children marvelled at the number of toilets, and then we decided to go to the dam for a late afternoon trip since it was only a few minutes away.

The crew decided to mutiny before we were even in the water and refused to get into the boat, so the captain got a solo boat trip while the rest of us rambled along the shoreline. The plan was to check out the caravan park next to the day use area, all the demands of “but why aren’t we camping?!” made me think we could try that at some point, but we didn’t make it off the day use area what with all the rocks to look at, feathers to examine and “perfect sticks” to find. Also fascinating was the number of thongs and other footwear nearby (do they fall overboard and wash up? They are forgotten about? What happened?).

The water in the dam was also surprisingly warm, which I found out when I ended up waist deep in the water while trying to get the boat back on to the trailer.

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Proof that the water was surprisingly warm. Still not warm enough to get me to swim, but nice enough to into until knee deep. 

The weekend was without incident except for one hat being lost overboard. Turns out wearing two hats at once, while funny, doesn’t lead to secure hat placement. There was wailing and some tears (it was a one of a kind absolutely favourite sort of hat, after all), but I promised to make another and soon found myself with requests for three more hats. Four bucket hats is about three months worth of sewing time, so if they’re lucky, they’ll be done by their birthdays. Or Christmas. (I use the Flosstyle pattern and highly recommend it)

The house we rented didn’t have as good a view of the dam as the last one we stayed at, but it had an amazing view of the mountains. I grew up with a mountain view, and looking at this one.

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Please note this photo doesn’t do it justice. 

I do not generally approve of such things as bird feeding, probably a lot to do with being raised with a parent who is scared of birds, but it was entertaining watching the children’s reaction to seeing the birds appear in the afternoon at the bird feeder. First the cockatoos, then the lorikeets, then the galahs and even a few pigeons. We see the lorikeets at home (and pigeons), but not the other types.

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Shift change over at the bird feeding area.

The house had a fire pit that we lit a small fire in, just enough for roasting marshmallows, and sat around for a little while, pre-bedtime. We had family join us for one night, so we had twice as many excited children waiting impatiently for marshmallows to roast (and wail when they fell off sticks). I was probably the worst at roasting and managed to drop one in my lap, so luckily I was wearing jeans for protection!

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This is not possible to see in a city. 

There was also this view – beautiful stars. The first night I got a beach towel and lay down in the front yard to watch. It was amazing. We can only see super bright stars in Brisbane, so not many (we actually stayed out here for the first time last year so we could show our city kids what stars really look like – they were not that impressed). It was a lovely trip, but a bit windy on the dam, the weather was better for boating last time we were out here in July.

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