Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Orange Snapshots - Meeting the Locals

This is the last in the series of posts showcasing photos of our trip to Orange, I promise!

In this post, come and meet some of the locals: the people, the birds, the animals, and the mythical.

The People

Most of the locals we met were in the tourist/service industry so, like most in the industry, people were friendly and helpful.

It does take a bit of time to get use to the slightly slower pace of life. One lady seemed a bit flustered when we walked to the front of the store to pay for our lunch at the same time that a group walked in to do some wine tasting - a post-lunch rush. And definitely the owner and cook at Banjo Paterson - More than a Poet centre were quite distracted trying to feed the touring group that stopped there for lunch and the exhibition.

What better way to meet people from the Central West and afar than to join in local events like the Orange Camel Races. A couple of the winners from the 'Fashion Dress Up' travel from Wollongong to Orange every year for the Camel Races, and many of the camel trainers (and their camels) come from Queensland.


The Golden Memories Museum at Millthorpe is managed and run by volunteers. One person greets visitors and collects admission fees in Good Templars Hall (which housed displays of pioneers, the local aboriginal dreaming, and local events), and another in the Jacoba Craft Cottage where local arts, crafts and produce are available for sale.

In the craft cottage, the lady asked us where we were from, and on finding out, proceeded to tell us that she'd lived in Peakhurst and worked in Botany until she retired to Millthorpe about 20 years prior. She mentioned that she was lucky she'd had a home in Millthorpe, so we think she was born and bred in Millthorpe.

She also mentioned that due to restrictions in her driving licence, she liked to take the back roads to Orange to avoid the traffic on the highway and get to the supermarket without having to go through the main street. So, we decided to head back to Orange along the back roads passing through or by a number of ‘springs’—Spring Hill, Little Springs, Springview, Spring Terrace, The Springs— and past farmland, playing fields, and new developments.

We also drove past Bissys Cafe. Bissys Cafe specialises in home-style cooking and fresh ingredients, sourcing as much as they can from their permaculture gardens.

We had breakfast at Bissys Cafe before heading for home. Bissys Cafe is located across the road from a skate park and children's playground, so it seemed to be popular with parents with young children. When we arrived there was a trio of Mums enjoying their coffees while their daughters amused themselves and wandered around. When they left the barista handed one of the girls a brown bag with a treat inside because because it was her birthday.

We both ordered the vegetarian breakfast but I forgot to mention that we didn't want toast. So when the cook brought out our meals, we couldn't believe the size of them. He commented that we'd been right for the rest of the day, and he was right. We didn't have lunch until mid-afternoon, and by then, we were in Richmond on the outskirts of Sydney.

I posted photos of our meals and the cafe on Instagram, and enjoyed a short to-and-fro with one of the owners of Bissys Cafe (and an invitation to ask for her next time to see all the wonders we missed at Bissys!).

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The Birds

We're lucky that we live near remnants of bushland in Northwest Sydney and regularly see and hear native birds such as magpies, sulphur-crested cockatoos, and rainbow lorikeet.

But we were unprepared at the variety of birdlife in the Central West, and they provided inspiration for many photos.

You've heard the line: “... and a partridge in a pear tree.”?

This is a different version, an ibis in an elm tree.


Maybe you prefer a magpie in a gingko biloba tree?


At the bottom of the street where we'd stayed was the Ploughman Lane Wetlands, one of four wetlands that are part of the Ploughman Creek Storm Water Harvesting scheme. There were a couple of paths criss-crossing the area making it a popular place for local residents to walk their dogs but lots of reeds made it difficult to access the edge of the dam (probably a good thing).

We spotted some waterbirds by the dam. I searched the web to see if I could identify them. They look like cormorants but it seems too far inland for these type of birds.

Ploughman's Lane is classified as a ‘significant landscape’ in Orange as it divides ‘suburban Orange in the East from the rural fringe in the West’ although suburban Orange seems to be growing.

And it was while walking around nearby streets we saw this King Parrot. I rarely see the King Parrot in Sydney but in Orange they seemed to be everywhere!


The early mornings were filled with birdsong, the carolling of the magpies, the chattering of the lorikeets. I met this magpie lark on an early morning walk, and we saw quite a few around town.


In the Orange Botanic Gardens is an area called the Eucalypt Woodland, which comprised many of the original eucalypts that were on the site. As we walked through a couple of galahs checked us out from above ...


... and down by the billabong, I spent some time trying to capture this Willy Wagtail as it flit from tree to tree.

Other photos

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The Animals

Here are some of the four-legged locals we saw or met.

Do bats have four legs? They do have four limbs, whether they can all be defined as legs is debatable.

We visited Cook Park and could hear some squeaking in the trees. Not birds this time ... a colony of bats! Most were settling down to sleep but there was the odd one stretching a wing or fighting with its neighbour.


Many of the camels at the Orange Camel Races were trained and transported from Queensland. There were two locally-trained camels, Orange and Ruby.

Ruby was a young camel who came last in the Consolation Saucer race but probably received the biggest cheer as she crossed the finish line.


As mentioned above, at the bottom of our street was the Ploughman Lane Wetlands. At the top of the street was the race course and small farm.

On the first day I went for a walk and passed this paddock late in the day. I think the nanny goat thought I was going to feed her.


The paddock across the road was occupied by a couple of horses. On our way home from the races, we noticed that a dog had joined them and was alert to the actions of passersby.


This old fellow lapped up all the pats he could get from Tony.

He was enjoying the sun at the entrance to the Banjo Paterson, More than a Poet exhibition at Yeoval.

Other photos

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The Mythical

Lizzy is one of the many sculptures that make up the Animals on Bikes paddock art trail. The trail runs from Molong to Dubbo, via Cumnock and Yeoval.


As we came down from the Pinnacle Lookout I looked back to the lookout to see (what I described in a previous post) a guardian of the mountain or the town.

And in this photo of the limestone cliffs at Borenore Caves, I can see this dark figure etched into the lighter stone, arms outstretched, reminiscent of cave paintings. The first thing I thought of Baiame, the Dreamtime god who lives in the sky and created the world.

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Other posts

Following are the other posts on Orange:

... and on my From Deb's Kitchen website: Away from Home - Orange

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