AG Flickr photo of the week: dusty muster

By AG Staff 18 February 2011
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In the thick of a cattle muster in outback Queensland, the rays of light shine through, in this week’s reader shot.

The moody shot, titled “Dusty Muster’ where’s Mum?” comes to us from AG-Flickr group member Sandy Carroll.

“I took this photo, where I lived for a time a few years ago, on Junction Ck Station in Charters Towers,” she says. “What an amazing and memorable time I had, working and photographing at this Brahman Cattle Station.
I must admit, I spent more time driving the remote and dusty roads in search of wildlife and photo opportunities, than I did working –  although often, I could combine the two and get the best of both worlds.

Mustering was a new experience for me and I loved being part of it. A typical day might include being surrounded by hundreds of cattle (walking in a calm and relaxed way), working alongside stockmen/women, keeping the bulls apart,  charging after a couple of cows who stray from the herd, or looking after the very young and weak poddie calves who found it too long a journey to keep up.

For me, memories of the beautiful brahman, the hot and arid land, the outback sunsets, the wild and remote lifestyle, will be with me forever. You can really understand how these cattlemen become addicted to such a remote lifestyle after sharing a small part of it with them.

At the time of this photo we were in the thick of mustering, when the little poddy calf had lost her mum, and was crying out for her. The three protecting cows stood over her to keep her safe. The dust was churned up, it was early morning, so the rays of light were shining through beautifully – a perfect photo opportunity for me, but I had to be quick. It was all over in a brief moment, and the calf was running around with her tail in the air. Let the muster begin!!

I hold these memories close to my heart, as they were a mixture of wild beauty and harsh realities of the life at the cattle station.

GALLERY of more Flickr reader photos.

This pic appeared in the Australian Geographic
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