A changeable landscape: recollections of Woomera

Woomera is a dry place – most of the time.  Sometimes however it is inundated with rain, and then the landscape changes dramatically.  Plants that have laid dormant come to life, and seeds from ephemeral plants germinate and grow. I Read More …

Changing places: from the garden of England to the Australian desert

What is it like to grow up in the rolling green hills of the Kent countryside in England, only to spend several years as an adult working in the Australian desert? It is hard to imagine two settings more different Read More …

Vegetable gardening in the desert

Keen gardeners always seem to find a way to grow a garden, regardless of the environment. Attempting to grow a lush vegetable garden in the hot, dry environment at Woomera may seem ambitious, until you realise that there are many Read More …

Mournful crows, burning legs on metal slides, and other memories of summer

As those of us in Australia head into the hottest part of the year, it seems an ideal time to hear stories about the extreme heat in places such as Woomera, located in desert country in the north of South Read More …

Music played by nature: telegraph poles as wind instruments

Aeolian instruments are instruments that are ‘played’ by the wind.  They have fascinated humans for centuries. In modern times, many beautiful sculptures around the world have been designed to produce music.  True Aeolian instruments produce notes that vary according to Read More …

The silence of the desert: silence like velvet

Quiet places are becoming rare; places where we can listen quietly to the natural environment. Woomera is one of those rare places.  Those who have lived in the remote town in the desert 446 km north of Adelaide, love the Read More …

‘Living fossils’ in the desert

Imagine living in Australia’s dry desert interior, and witnessing the landscape come alive after rain. I recently interviewed people who had lived in Woomera, 446 km north of Adelaide in an arid region surrounded by salt lakes that are usually Read More …