Day 4 Eclipse day!

Today is the day! We had a little scare this am. I was waking about every couple of hours to see the time. We were scheduled for a 3am wake up call, but I had set my phone for 2:30 am. so about 1:30 am I decided to just trust the wake up call and phone and get some sleep. Well I woke again and it was 3:00 am!! No wake up call, no phone alarm at 2:30, what happened? We had everything packed, so all we had to do was get dressed etc. We had to catch the bus at 3:30am! We did and with time to spare. ( phone was set to pm not am!)

We drove for an hour to Wetherby station, a working beef ranch. The cattle are a combination of Texas Longhorn and Bramhas, bred to be hornless or polled. They are red in color and are called Droughtmasters. 

After arriving we grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the pasture to set up for the eclipse. WATCH out for the cow patties was heard all over the pasture. We found a rock to put our gear on and I had found a chair to sit on. Now the wait begins.  We found out our rock was a termite mound! No termites though.

Soon it is predawn, light is beginning to filter through the trees, the crowd of 180 are noisy and all a buzz with excitement as the sun soon appears over the mountain. As we were in the mountains the sun had already had first contact with the moon,so a little cresent was visible. I had made filters for my binocs the nite before and they worked perfect! We also had glasses.

As the sun rose higher the “bite” out of the sun became larger and larger. The light began to dim ever so slightly, the exposed sun got smaller and smaller! The excitement was building, and the group fell silent anticipating totality! Then like a thrown light switch it went dark and a roar went up from the crowd! Loud shouts and yells could be heard as well as ooooo and ah! Then in a few seconds the Diamond ring appeared and again the crowd went wild!

I can not describe the feelings I was having, it seemed so magical and I could understand why our ancient ancestors were awed and afraid of this awesome natural occurance. 

After the totallity was over it was boring watching the moon travel across the sun, so we packed up and went up to the house to enjoy a Wetherby Station breakfast. Very good bacon, egg, sandwich! After our breakfast, which included champagne, we headed to the corrals to watch working border collies herd cattle.

Our day ended with our ride back, with the bus just a buzz with excitement and each showing our pictures. A long day but one not to have missed!

After our ride back, we napped for an hour or two and then took the shuttle to the Wildlife Habitat for a look see.
 No kangaroos but lots of Wallaby’s and bird life, including the Cassowary. The Cassowary is unique in its appearance, with a hard and stiff plumage, a brown casque, blue face and neck, red nape and two red wattles hanging down its throat. Its three-toed feet are thick and powerful, equipped with a lethal dagger-like claw up to 12cm long on the inner toe. Beautiful bird. We really loved the Koalas! Perhaps Australia’s most iconic animal, The koala is found in eastern and southern coastal regions. Often mistakenly called a bear, this marsupial has several subspecies, of which those found in Tropical Queensland are the smallest. The koala’s diet consists almost entirely of eucalypt leaves, and due to its slow metabolism, it rests and sleeps for up to 20 hours a day, eating for most of its active time. It did move a paw, when it felt like it was going to fall, but his head never moved! Our day ended wit a celebratory eclipse  dinner.

Goodnight, it has been a long day!

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