The Wongan Hills Experience, a night in Goomalling and on to Toodyay
The main objective of the stargazing evening in Wongan Hills was in fact to see the full moon rise over the Wongan Hills. Despite wind, flies and cloud cover the event went ahead. We bought some steak from the local butcher to cook on the BBQ and had coleslaw salad sandwiches with it. There was quite good fellowship amongst the locals and visitors. Stephen did the cooking and was able to chat with other people over the BBQ.
When we had all cleared up we were invited to sit looking out to where the moon was rising (we couldn’t actually see it) and a local introduced the team of astronomers who had brought three telescopes and used onboard computers to align and track the moon. It turned out to be a very interesting evening as they were able to answer all of our questions (like ‘when will people next go to the moon’ and ‘when will people go to Mars’, etc. The evening had become quite chilly and we had to rug up.
Of course, the moon eventually showed up with the clouds providing quite a lot of drama and short windows of opportunity to view it through one or other of the telescopes. Stephen was shown how to get photos on his mobile phone through the telescope, resulting in these three phoots.
When I sat down for a bit to ease my sore feet a little girl in a dress who was not rugged up, worryingly, with bare arms, asked me ‘where is Dolly’. Her speech was a little unclear, but she and a couple of other small kids included me quite naturally in what they were doing (the little boy being rather annoying, but very cute). I put it down to them being country kids who expect all older women to be available as spare aunties and grandmothers.
Eventually we all decided to head home, leaving our astronomers to pack up the telescopes.
By then we had met Deborah a couple of times around the town and enjoyed chatting with her. She and her husband are retired farmers living in Hyden. They were on the tour we took this morning out to see the Reyoldsons Reserve to see the verticordias. We learned about the history of the area, rotational planting of crops and the history of the reserve. We have been out to this reserve a couple of times in the past, but found it very interesting to do the tour.
Then back to the community centre to look at the vintage cars on display and have our second Devonshire Tea of the weekend.
We are now about 80kms from home and doing something we have done before in spending one night near Toodyay before heading home, even though we could actually drive home today. Our re-entry into normal life will be demanding and having one more peaceful night will help.
It’s only 12 days to our next time away in the van at Folk in the Forrest in Dwellingup. There was an email this morning giving us some information on what to expect. This festival has been running for many years, but this is our first time.