This photo by Land reader Jessie Palmer brings to life the ballad by our famous bush poet Banjo Paterson about the challenges of living in the far west NSW town of Booligal.
Banjo Paterson wrote in Hay and Hell and Booligal:
“Of course, there's heat -- no one denies --
And sand and dust and stacks of flies,
And rabbits, too, at Booligal.”
Well, here’s the dust.
This picture of Rob Rogers taken by his fiance Jessie Palmer shows the moment a dust storm descends on the Booligal district last week.
The storm is one of many to have hit the far west NSW town this year. This storm on February 6 was particularly intense with locals having to pull off the road as visibility was reduced to zero.
The actual township didn’t cop the dust as bad as some properties nearby but as with all dust storms it was a case of “batten down the hatches”.
Gwen from Booligal Hotel said it was a long time for a dust storm to pass.
“It builds up for two to three hours and then you get an hour of it, and then the slow down."
“It’s a matter of battening down the hatches to try and stop the dust getting into everything. Then it’s the big clean up.”
In the most recent storm, people couldn’t see from one side of the road to the other. It was a severe change from a freak storm near Christmas last year when motorists were also forced to stop driving because of an intense hail storm, that turned some Booligal roads into boggy messes.
And despite the dust storms and hail storms, of course Booligal is a great place to live, with an amazing local public school, a fine hotel, and vibrant locals, contrary to some of the “bad press” Banjo gave it all those years ago!