Thursday, April 12, 2007

Friday's History Lesson, a day late- Cairn Curran Reservoir

Baringhup is the place we camped out over the Easter break(refer to previous post for this). The Loddon River (usually) flows past the campsite and the water is used as irrigation by farmers whose properties are next to the river. There are various pumping sheds that work intermittently to pump the water up to their farms. The water released is controlled up stream at the Reservoir also, that is during times of flood. This prevents erosion of the banks of the Loddon River.
A short drive from our camping grounds takes you to the Cairn Curran Reservoir. It was constructed between 1947 through to 1956. A two megawatt Power Station at Cairn Curran generates electricity when irrigation and or flood releases are being made.

The above image was taken by myself. I am standing on a road that would normally be submerged in about 100 to 120 foot of water in the reservoir. The damn wall there with the hydro power station would usually be full with water. Indicative of the lack of rainfall Victoria has had these past few years.

This is the lowest we have ever seen the Reservoir. My husband has been camping up here for nearly 18 years. Slowly, we witness the water drying up. The ground is really cracked and the soil is crunchy to walk on where the bed of water used to be. You can see footage I took HERE (please turn your sound off though, as there is alot of sound of wind passing by the speaker on the camera).
We used to bring our boat here and fish for trout. We could see on the scanner the depth of water and also see shades from beneath. These were not fish, evidence now seen, they were stumps from trees. We also found a few boat anchors too!!

Here is an image (above and below) of the remnants of an old homestead. Again, this is usually submerged. It must have been a grand house in its day, the stone work is amazing. It would have at least 100 foot of water over it too. I just found an article from The Age Newspaper that gives tribute to the homestead pictured above. Please read it HERE, it is (sadly) a very interesting find.

This is an image I found of an old homestead that was submerged beneath Cairn Curran. The Lancaster Homestead. I wish I knew this before as we could have gone to find what is left of it now. Probably the chimney, they seem to survive everything those old chimneys.

Hopefully the drought will break sometime soon and the reservoir can fill up again. This would make life alot easier for the folks up there and also for the reservoirs down here in Melbourne. Local bush talk says that when Kangaroos start to produce Joeys( baby Kangaroos that is), that this is a sign that a drought era will soon break.....we can all only hope, and continue to conserve water best we know how.


Queen of Dysfunction said...

Holy cow! Those are neat photos and another great history lesson.

Tell me... did you get kind of a creepy feeling when standing near the old homestead that's usually submerged? My mind always makes up stories about stuff like that and I creep myself out.

G-Man said...

Yes Cazzie, another great Aussi history lesson..
Australia, surrounded by water....Drying up resevoires, a land of mystery...See ya sweetie.

Jay said...

I love your Friday history lessons. I'm learning so much about your corner of the world.

Sling said...

Hi cazzie!..I just stopped in by way of Middle Child.I checked out some of your history lessons,and enjoyed them very much.Great pix too!

Betty said...

Another great history lesson. I'm enjoying your posts.

Andrew said...

Depressing isn't it. By spending money the cities can secure their water supply. But a dam like this is always going to be empty unless it rains, and rains a lot.

Steve said...

Are you related to the Leyland Brothers by any chance?

gawilli said...

Sadly we are so very unaware of the environment around us until something extreme occurs. Hopefully the rains will come for you. Our climate has changed gradually over the years so that unless you are forced to look back you do not notice. Very interesting post. Thanks.

M said...

the lack of water in the reservoirs are such a startling reminder of how little water we've got left!

Cazzie!!! said...

QOD, Nah, no crepy feeling, just wonderment..wondering who lived here. I did have a feeling that their departure was frought with some emotional pain..and that was proven correct with the article I mention here.

G-Man, I know mate, sad but true. There just seems to be no end to having small showers pas on over, the clouds won't stay still long enough to give us all a generous dumping of H2O. Desalination plants are on the cards me thinks, but time will tell.
Up North, thye get soo much water in wet season, it would be great to be able to get some of it piped down here. All costly.

Jay, yes, and I learn from everyone else too, it is wonderful to be able to share these things.

Sling, Welcome mate, glad you enjoyed it. I try to get the lesson in of a Friday, but I run late on it sometimes..with 4 kids and so much going on in life :)

Betty, I am glad you are, I love yours too, they make me laugh sometimes too :)

Andrew, that is so true, it is never a thought that is far from my mind. I guess, with the logging seeminlgy slowing down too, thanks to the Greenies(I think), perhaps it might help attract the rain clouds over head?? I dunno, let's hope the drought breaks by Anzac Day..when I was in the march, it always bucketed down!!

Steve, lol, " Ask the lazy Buggers" hehhe, nah, I don't think I got the right taste in clothes or hair do's as they have. But, I did grow up watching them.

Gawilli, it is all so true. My pop has kept rainfall measurements and weather patterns for over 25 years. You can see the changes in environment and weather patterns clearly there. I notice too, apart from lack of rain fall, that we burn easier here in Australia too. The ozone hole expanding?

M, yes, it is frightening, we are trying to do all we can as a family to conserve :)

it's the little things... said...

You Australians are lucky to live in such a fascinating and diverse country.... I read several blogs just to see the pics!

Anonymous said...

what a great and informative post. hey thanks for stopping by my blog...i have added you to my links and i will visit often.

Josh said...

Interesting. There is (or used to be) a town about an hour away from home that was completely submerged when a dam was built around the turn of the century. They drained the reservoir a few years back, and there were some great shots of the abandoned town, as you could still make out streets and city blocks.

Aidan said...

It is on the way to breaking, its all sloshing back now (ENSO)... the drought will break very shortly...

When ever i am in ruins, or parliment house, of when we were in rome, i try and imagine the people who had walked that ground before me. or what it looked like in its hey day... the sights and smells, the lancasters sitting down to a meal...

If the homestead was there, that means that the water was a lot lower, than what it is now... i guess its possitive that it can be replenished:)

Thanks for the lesson


mjd said...

As usual, your history lesson is interesting and informative. The change in the water level is amazing. I wonder if sometimes we humans create more or at least different problems when we try to create solutions to what we view as nature's problems.

I did not turn the sound down as you advised. That must be your voice narrating the video. Fantastic hearing you a half a world away.

Stace said...

It's very sad to see how the drought is effecting country Victoria. I saw similar effects when I visited my parents, as you saw on my blog. Living in the city, it's VERY easy to forget the reality of the lack of water... we just turn on a tap, and there it is. But my garden-mad mother is planting only succulents and cactii, and she's saving the water from her shower to keep them alive!

Monkey said...

I hope the drought ends soon. Thanks for posting those photos. It's so interesting.

Also.. thanks for stopping by Beck's blog. He was thrilled. (Now that his "birthday week" is over, he's moved onto other things, but he will be back. He always finds something about trains to post.)

Cazzie!!! said...

The little things, you should try visit for real one would have a few tour guides :)

About me, no worries, come by anytime. I look forwards to seeing what you will post now you are all refreshed yourself :)

Josh, I love your current post, I am glad you stopped by. I too was amazed that you can make out roads once the water dries up, there wer quite a few there.

Aidan, no no, thankYOU for your lesson. It is so simple, yet so true, that if they had to make a dam like this years ago that the waterHAD to be scarce back then too.
I love to think of who might have been there, or anywhere we travel also. Even down the main street of Maldon there, horse drawn carts and all. My pop, who is still alive, said his dad was one of the first cabbies in Melbourne. He had number 2 cab. When there were rations during the war time, he still ran the cab service...he used a horse to pull it along!! What a sight that'd be in main street in Melbourne!!
Also, glad to know the drought will be breaking soon.

MJD, you got me!! I know, it was still a windy recording wasn't it? But, I think I was video shy too.
I do agree with what you say, I think mother nature will take care of us, I just wish others would take care of the planet.

Stace, yes, being a country girl like you I think we actually still appreciate where we came from and use waterin the same manner..with respect really. Unreal your mum has to use her shower water even for cactii...but I believe every word of it. I can see her, like my mum, out there in her PJ's after a shower with bucket in hand watering her plants!!

Monkey, LOL, I know what you mean, birthday's go forever when the kids have school or kindergarten to take a cake to..then their party on the next weeknd after their birthday is their birthday does not fall on a weekend, then the family arty!!!

Keshi said...

A greatt Aussie story and ur a great Aussie gal to give us all this historic info of the great southern land.


Princess Banter said...

Those are awesome pics -- and it's even more incredible to think how much water fills up that place!!! Hope you had fun during your holi :) Loved the pictures... sometimes we forget just how beautiful nature can be.

The Samstress said...

Hey Cassie ~ I love your history lessons. It is depressing to see your drought conditions. I sure hope it breaks soon for you.

As I read your blog, the winds are howling outside, my back yard is flooding, and the sump pump is running steady. If we lose power with these winds, my basement will be flooded for sure.

I won't be long on the computer today as a result. Take care~ ~Sam

Anonymous said...

Drought... Before we moved to the farm I never worried about the weather. Then the first 2 summers 98 & 99 we had nasty drought. Complete with brown-outs... just like snow white-outs but with blowing sand. Never seen anything like it.

Hopefully, it'll end soon. But in nice all day drizzle.. not gully washers.


poody said...

We are in a draught here too. Global warming???

Homo Escapeons said...

Truly amazing. Here in Whateverpeg we are one hour away from the 11th largest Freshwayer Lake in the World plus we have tens of thousands of small lakes...all thanks to the cavities scraped into the ground by the giant glacier that once covered us.

We also have a few meteoritic crater lakes..maybe you can attract more hits? It sounds very serious and I think that you are right desalination is the can't always sit around and wait for Mother Nature to come around and save the day..
not when 99% of all living creatures on our planet are already extinct!

Cazzie!!! said...

Keshi, thanks, hope ur well.

Princess Banter, yes you are right, it is a lovely place, with or without water.

The Samstress, wonders if you might email me some of that there water you are having in excess, LOL. Nice to hear from you Sam.

Farmwifetwo, yes, my grandad used to watch the weather and rainfall and record it on his little farm too. When people talk, and they havent much to say, they always seemto go on about the weather, but now, it is serious stuff here. Wishing it would drizzle here now

Poody, I dunno love, perhaps that, yes that, and just so many other things too. Logging, no trees to attract the rain, not on the rain band, mothernature teasing us?? How are ya?

Homo Esc, amazing, yes, all that water there. Similar to all the water they have up Northern Australia in wet season while we fight bushfires here.
I concur with the mother nature thing, cannot wait for it to happen, but the politicians cannot decide what to do with all the dollars and ya know, get theri ass into gear to get the desalinator up and running.
Like Aidan said above, he believes the drought will lift. And the stories from old farmers who say the sign of Kangaroos sprouting Joeys is a sign of rains to come, I hope they are right.

Spark Driver said...

Its a little scary hearing how low our waterways are getting. I can't imagine enough rain to fill them again.

Thanks for posting on my blog, its always interesting to read a new one.

Cazzie!!! said...

Spark Driver, thanks, I enjoyed looking back at a few of your posts too. Looks like we have a few things in common. I like to talk about family too.
I need to look back a bit at much weight was it you had to loose? What got you into the running? I am also on a vendetta to loose weight. I can't run due to having had 2 knee operations.