Full Record

David Ride : [field notebook] : Trans & Central Australia : Field trip to Etadunna Stn n. of Marree S.A. to visit R. Tedford and other writers for U.S.A. who have worked in the Tertiary deposits to learn of their results and methods
Record no:
Call no:
17 Aug - 8 Sept. 197
[72 p.] field diary ; 16 cm.
."Visit in company with other palaeontologists at the invitation of Tedford and the S.A. Museum."
Field Diary of Ride accompanied by W.H. Butler from 17 August 1970 to 8 Sept 1970. [FN211]
At back of book 13 p. of notes and sketches.
SeeAlso: FN211 Harry Butler's diary
> 17th August (Monday)
Kalgoorlie R.F.D. Base  saw John Flower and got scheds. 0730  1545.
Arranged a sched with Ruth or Eric at 1530 today to give place & E.T.A.
Left R.F.D. Base at 11.00
Drove through Kalgoorlie, down the Boulder Rd. to the Trans line. Took left fork to Boulder Block Hotel, turned hard left around Hotel then hard right around post office following road to Lakewood. End of bitumen between mullock heaps. passed left fork to Golden Ridge. Turned off hard left signpost Condeela, Randalls[?], Karonie.

Karonie, Coonana, Zanthus.

Kildana. Start of Kanandah fence to south[?]. Lime kilns. Got in touch with Ruth at 3.30 and they collected a lot of small lizards and some snakes, all under bit of wood - more under tin.

Drove in the Kandandah. Ruth and Eric all at home, Susie inepiasible as ever. Ruth and Eric well, delighted to see them. They have had a very poor season. Carrying about 30,000 from the 40 ooo of two years ago. An excellent wool clip last year but only 3 inches so far.
Had a most pleasant evening to bed at 9.30, a very cold night. How nice to have a good bed.

Told Eric about the Wedgetail sitting on the fence post about 10 ft. from four half-grown lambs which were watching it (it was measuring dinner[?]) - we drove over and it flew off & as it did so the lambs moved forward in concert. Eric tells of an Eagle he watched in Qld. which struck a half-grown roo but he was too slow as the on the ground so he made repeated air strikes tumbling[?] over the swinging[?] kangaroo each time until he killed it.

> 18th August 1970 (Tuesday)
Kanandah, put in 12 gals.
Trainline, stopped at gate & collected Gymnodactylus milii under sleeper.
Sleeper, collected Heteronotia binoei and Mus musculus underneath.

Abandoned camp. Collected under sleepers and rocks H. binoei, and a small Asleplous[?] elegans. This was the place where Butler previously collected S. murina under sleepers. Fantastically unlikely for murina ! Took photos [C6524, 5]. Trachysaurus rugosus on track. Very rugose like a pine cone. Collected.

Haig. Stopped for lunch in a little patch of Casuarina. Very pleasant in the sun. Wind died a bit and no longer bitterly cold. Photographed Gymnodactylus [C6626,7] and also the Trans train which came through while we were lunching [C6628]. All people sitting in the Diner. We were probably more comfortable than they - at any rate would not have swapped !

Nurina. Stopped to turn over sleepers, collected a couple of geckoes Phyllodactylus (laminated toes, bifid pad, claw on each digit - Gelya has non bifid pad & no claw on inner digit - Butler's diagnostics), Heteronotia binoei.

Road very rough indeed milage scarcely 20 mph much of the time.

Loongana. Very slow progress. Decided to camp for the night before the light goes. Camped in a little clump of  "dead finish" Acacia (? aphylla) and desert willows Pittosporum (will collect seed).

Collected wolf spiders, running on the ground. Some salt and blue bush, Temp. 53*F.

> 19th August 1970 (Wednesday)
Camped 9.3 E. of Loongana. A good night, fairly warm, cloud coming up, wind shifted fr. N into due West. Off at 0810.
Butler found a small Ablepharus butleri under a stone. Collected a bag of seeds of native willow Pittosporum which I must try to grow.
Mundrabilla Siding. Small sprinkle of rain at intervals but little risk of it developing.
Stopped at a donga to photograph an Acacia [C6629] collected a few of the very scarce and small puffball flowers. Phyllodes and twisted..
Forrest. Posted letters to M & Jim. Crossed to south of track, stopped at Gurney [?] near Reid for lunch - looked for fossils in fissure fils[?] nothing.
Reid. Track comes off for airfield. Collected Tympanocryptus running , went under a stone.
XD140 Benchmart, Lands & Surveys WA.

Harry's diagram of cave. The cave has a compacted earth floor & scraps of bone, easy to get into. No evidence of H. sap. but flakes collected on surface within 1 mile of cave. Worth excavation someday.

Investigated cave alongside road (to east). Harry collected bones of Perameles, Leporillus, Dasycereas, a small macropod, 2 small Drymidae, Notys?, Pseudemys. Collected Trapdoor spider, no door on brow but copious silk sleeve. Unfortunately burro between stues & destroyed in excavating it. Collected land shells 3spp.& slater.
Bad mark XD155.

Camped among myalls to the west of the track. Collected Huntsman spider T50F, 3/4 moon on the wane. Turned in at 10.00 pm. Few meals around. Saw a couple of rabbits along the trans line & two foxes. Country very poor. Salt and bluebush in reasonable condition but grass all black & grey. No water anywhere. Red kangaroo & ten greys as we entered the myall zone at 87.9.

> 20th August (Thursday)
Camped in myall, a good night. Cold morning west gone road to N.W. Off at 8.10, only 140 m. yesterday, must make Ceduna tonight. Eucla. Put in 15 3/4 gals super, gauge showing empty, 302.2 m. since Kanandah average 18.8 mpg.
S.A. / W.A. border mallee & saltbush. Wombat holes on Nullarbor Stn. in saltbush, took some photos and collected land snails and a wombat palate & teeth. The holes are common between mileposts 28 and 26 to Nullarbor Homestead.
Nullarbor Homestead turnoff, collected bobtail on road just past the turnoff. Myall comes in again after a stretch of the plain which started before the wombat holes (although there was scattered Myall there).
Ivy Tanks.
Start of the Yalata reserve: Bluebush, Eucalypts (woolly butts) and myall. First wheat starts after cleared grazing in open myall and eucalypt "parkland" for some miles.
Fuel pump at Nindroo, Fowlers Bay turn off.
Wolf spider in hole under stone in a small roadside "reserve". Collected.
Penong fuel 15 gals average 18.6 mpg. Ceduna X road.

Stayed in Poochera to phone in. All well at home. Seds a bit off colour but Jim's operation seems to be successful. Dark 8.15 and cold.

Turnoff main road at Minnipa to go south to find camp in the dark. Find a place behind a small belt of trees and off the road. After meal wrote decisions in cases for International Commission until about 11.00 pm, to bed, cold & windy. Harry got some spiders.

> 21st  August (Friday)
Camped 5 miles south of Minnipa in a small clump of eucalypts at a bend in the road among paddocks of wheat. A nice morning. Alice Springs sched starts at 8.00 on 5410, can hear perfectly well, off at 0840.
Back on Eyre Highway, Kimba 18 1/4 gals.

Drove on to Port Augusta across country which at first was mallee rather like Lake Grace but soon became less strong and then changed to myall, sheoak, bluebush/saltbush. Finally coming up to the Middleback Range before Iron Knob to the south of Lake Giles the country might virtually be a cross between the flats between the Wooramel and Brown Range of the Nullarbor. come through the Middleback Range the country gets even worse until Port Augusta reached.

Port Augusta left Hwy with vehicle after lunch to get 4000 miles service done & roofrack welded where it had fractured. Went to the Public Library where the girls let me wash before handling books ! I then worked on Commission business and got it posted.

Drove out into the Flinders Ranges to Quorn and camped on a tributary of Willochra Creek just north of Gordon [Kanyaka Creek 6m. S. of Wilson]

Camped in rain. Got the fly up - leaks ! Bats flying low and very fast. Spotlighted while Harry shot. He collected a Tadarida australis, male, wt:37gr, H & B 84 mm, T.V. 49mm, H.I 10 mm, E26mm, forearm 62 mm (wt & measurements taken by Butler). A beautiful chocolate brown with a well marked golden pouch with raised globular rim (bone) and with two dense clusters of marvellous rich brown chocolate hair which, when wanted for the pouch stood up like two dense bristly fans. Photographed pouch b&w. A male trapdoor walked into the tent & onto Harry's leg ! Collected. T.52* a very fine wolf spider about in the rain.

> 22nd August (Saturday)
Rained hard all night. Was awakened about 03.30 and did not sleep much after that. Fly leaks and water splashing in my face.Sound of running water gave me some concern that we would have difficulty in getting up the bank out of this valley - but looked better in daylight! Still raining , but much more lightly during breakfast, which was leisurely. Harry collected a Pardelote.
Rail coming at Wilson [Halt]

Hawker[?]. Still raining but asked a bus driver who had just driven down the Wilpena Pound road what it was like. He said slippery but we would have no bother. Country very interesting. Callitris in hills rather like European hill scenery with firs. Triodia starts among the Callitris and bluebush eucalypts along the creeks looking like silver birch. Stopped at a flat with callitris and grass alongside the road at the foot of Rawnsley Bluff and opposite Moongarie Gap. Dry out spiders.[C6633].

Turned off into Wilpena Pound turnoff. The view is incredibly beautiful pastoral scenery. The Chalet is a privately owned property & camping area. Tents among the trees. Drove into the area and then walked up into the pound by the tourist track. A wonderful isolated woodland of tall eucalypts. Photographs [C6635-36]. Dry out 3 trapdoor spiders, more photos into the entrance of the Pound[C6701-2]. Stopped raining.
Back at main road.Through heavily-grazed hill country, Reds and Euros grazing, rabbits and fox.

Blinman, an isolated hill town. Drove down the road to Mt Mary and Parachilna. A  very beautiful and spectacular descent high hosting defiles. Rocky and dry[C6703]. Harry shot a rabbit. Saw several Euros. Down into the mud and desolate plains at the foot - to Parachilna 4002.6. Camped on Green Well Creek, collected spiders. Tadarida flying. V. cold.

> 23rd August (Sunday)
Camped in Greenwell Creek 7 miles N. of Parachilna. The creek's a rock strewn bed lined by quite tall rivergums and flowing along the top of a crest. Coming into it last night, up hill from Parachilna, I found it difficult to believe it was a creek at all.
An excellent night and lovely morning, clouds are still hanging around the Flinders and there is light cloud cover as a front passes over - but not enough to keep the sun off.

Country bare with low sand - looks badly eaten out. Breakfast-Time Creek is a lovely name in a dreadful area of eaten out country ; some of the most desolate I have seen.
Beltana - dreadful. Trying to make living on tourists in hopeless country.

Arrived at Leigh Creek township. An incredible place in such desolation. Sealed roads, brickbuilt houses, green trees and a little park with green lawns and wonderful flowering trees filled with birds.

Went to the police station (Sgt Marple & Const Cavanaugh) who say that the trees in park were Disto Lothian at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Wish that Bond had turned his energy to this sort of thing in W.A. Sgt Marple's boy is a keen fossil rock collector & hopes to be a geologist. Harry gaven him advice on Physics, Chemistry & Maths.

Drove back to Copley and fuel 14 1/2 gals - 15 mpg. Stopped for lunch in the bed of Leigh Creek. Dug out scorpions, Harry showed an excellent technique with water for folling tiosty burrows.

Went back to Leigh Creek and tried to phone Grant Inglis in Adelaide to find out why they had not turned up. No luck. Police advised checking with Johnny Akbar in Copley whether the Crusers were still out at Callabonna on Moolawatana stn. Went & checked and found out they were still there so decided to go back to Leigh Creek until 3.30 and then if they didn't want to go on out to Moolawatana to contact Michael Sheehan - manager. Did this and left message with Const. Cavanaugh to pass on to Grant. Tel from Briston : Collecting N.T. O.K. fuel Warburton O.K.

Leave Leigh Creek. Turn off at Copley on East. Passed Mt. Searl turnoff. This is incredibly desolate hill country almost completely bare of vegetation. [C6705] . Nepabunna Mission, houses in good condition, a school.   Wooltana H.S. in the plain at the N side of the range. country beautiful plains - quite good condition.

Camped in Arkaroola Crk. 6.4 m. N.E. of Wooltana H.S. Collected spiders T 54*F a nice (comparatively) warm evening. Pleasant sitting around the fire writing.

The general impression I get of this country is of incredibly desolate, thrashed saltbush country to the West of the Flinders Range which lies like a dividing rampart NpS through the country. he range itself has been destroyed by pastoral activity but is picturesque desolation with adits here & there. Very rough rather reminiscent of Nullagine and the Warraweena[?] series. And then over the other side, quiet plains in much better condition, apparently better watered, with good trees along numerous creeks feeding out of the range. Good grasses. Why do so many of the creeks on the other side (ie the West) seem to flow along the tops of ridges ?!

Telegram at Leigh Creek

> 24th Aug. 1970 (Monday)
Camped at Arkaroola Creek. A beautiful night, windy in the middle of the night but woke to a still clear morning. Warm enough to sit comfortably in a pullover. Listened to Alice Springs sched, nothing for us, off at 0850. After leaving creek took 2 photos back at Creek & range [C6706] and Right ls of Range.[C6707]. Then stopped while Harry walked up a couple of quail thrushes of which he collected are - a very beautiful pale bird rising between little tussocks and small bushes, male.

[C6708] Creek and hills across gibber and sandy plain. N. Mulga (entrys). N. Mulga Homestead. Moolawatana H.S. a beautiful modern Homestead. The home paddock is full of bush but the rest is desolation. Met a young geologist and wife who were mapping the area. They told us where Tedford and party were working. We then met a truckdriver who also gave us a road map, v. useful in relation to mills and fences [see over]. Drove out to Tedford's camp and on the way were caught up by the rest of the party.
   Grant Inglis   S. A. Museum
   Paul Lawson  S.A. Museum
   Jim Warren  Monash
   Mike Plane  Bureau Of Mineral Resources
   Alan Bartholomai  Queensland Museum

We then followed Paul into the camp, a desolate wind-blasted spot. They have a caravan and two bedrooms[?] with open backs. They had left a note for us to come out to the lake so we had lunch and then drove out on their tracks to the lake. The site is fantastic. Skeletons outcropping on the surface into a ventenesd[?] zone of gypsum and sands below this a blue clay interbedded with thin sands and then going into sand at 2ft6 to 3 ft in most places. The skeletons are all in the grey clay except where deflation has brought them into the weathered zone. Took numerous photos, went for Side 4 ; where they were working to a place where Diprotodon trackings were visible on the surface. These arplute explicable as follows :
[Sketch] [blue clays] "bioturbation" (Tedford's name)

The deflation removes the less compact material and leaves the actual treads. Took photos. Aso took photos of giant bird remains as well as concentrations of clay[?] stones.Drove to Side 1 where Tedford demonstrated the sequence of beds which were Upper sands, Upper clay, with Emu[?], smaller birds, fish otalites, then an apparent disinfinity with the Diprotodon-bearing clays break down. The only aquatic animals in these lower beds are Coriellas. So Tedford believes that these were saline at the time of deposition. He also believes that the distortion of the skeleton is due to "bioturbation" - or simply animals walking on each other !
Sand blowing like hell - really a wretched place. They say that this is the worst day they have had.
Back to camp to an excellent dinner cooked by Paul Lawson.
After yarning with the party went out and collected spiders. Strong wind. T54*F.
Mudmap to site of camp on Woolatchi Creek.

> 25th Aug 1970 (Tuesday)
Camp on Woolatchi Creek, Lake Callabonna. Up at dawn after a very windy night, but slept v. well. drove to Homestead and filled with fuel.
Homestead. Took northwards road through Lyndhurst cb house. Incredibly desolate country here. All the bush and most of the larger shrubs have been killed leaving only Mitchell Grass as the staple. Mile Shean says that they have had no rain for 2 years and that he is down to 6,000 head from 12,000 - obviously that is too much.
Mt Fitton H.S.
Signpost "Talc Mine 3 miles" on turnoff to our right. Photo[C6801] of typical desolation.
Mt. Freeling H.S. An old camp with incredible stone corral and post & rail fence - photos :[C3802, 03] collected - few bib of worthwhile gear.
Farina. Incredible place - "On western plains where shade is not.." [C3804,5]

Maree [Marree ?] Fuel 171/2 gals to fill. Sent Telegram to Jim on his birthday, "Many happy returns of the day All going well Love Dad". Ran into Warren Bonython. Incredible place to meet one's friends ! He was going to look at a new National Park at Lake Eyre North.
On the Birdsville Track.

Clayton Bore. Camped by the bore stream. Collected a good series of spiders.  Saw in the water (a large black water spider) a few small greenish ones in bushes but not on the sand. T 56* F, Slight showers.

> 26th August 1970 (Wednesday)
Camped at Clayton Bore. Up before dawn. Harry started the day well by lamping into a Sminthopsis crassicaudata [WR218] as it had the misfortune to walk within the circle of lamplight - Incredible performance.
Hayes Hill where Dick researches[?] the contact between the Cretaceous Blanchewater Fn. and the Lower Testing Murnpeowie Fn. and the relation of  test to the "silicated Dricrest"[?] the feral crugent [?] at the place.
Sketch of silicated land forms e.g. Hays Hill.

The Blanchewater is probably the equivalent of the Winton Fri [?] which contains dinosaurs The Murnpeowie is probably the equivalent of the Plutagents, M. contains plant impressions in the silcrete near Hays Hill.

[C6806,7] Dick Tedford study on the Basal beds of the Murnpeowie [C6808,9] Mike Plane standing in one section showing the deflated gibbers on the top.

[C6810,11]A good shot of Hays Hill showing how the contact mantles a basin in the Blanchewater Fn. Sketch of [C6810,11] : the dip of the Blanchewater is about 13* to the NW into the basin which is filled with the Etadunna Fm. The Winton Fm. shows up in a bore underlying the Etadunna Fm.
[C6812] Sketch : Geological map of the area.

Unfortunately the contact between the Etadunna Fm. and the Murnpeowie do not show on the surface. Outcrop on side of road seems to be Murnpeowie Fm.

Cannuwankaninna Bore. Stopped here and had a bath while the Holden went up to Etadunna Station Homestead. Camped in under the lee of a large Dune in the Cooper (between it and L. Palankarinna) M.R. 66435. Reached SW. corner of lake to look at the contact between the Cretaceous and the Etadunna Fm with the B.M.R. and the S.A. Mines Dept.

The Etadunna fm here lies on top of a silveted[?] and ladinized[?] horizon which Dick says is typical of the lowest[?] horizon of a massive[?] denicrest[?]. Mary Lindsay (S.A. Mines) points out that there is similar silcected[?] Nullarbor bestie[?] at Lake Pidinga N. of Yalata Mission on the track to Watson.) The least[?] part of the Etadunna Fm. is Dolomitic limestone with Both-like gastropods and some Rhaggada-like shells. Collected a good swag. On top of this is the remnant of gibbers which Dick believes is transported[?] from an adjacent area of limestone.

Photographed a channel of Katapiri cut into the Etadunna Fm.[C6815]   Moved along the W. side of the lake and looked at typical exposures of the 3 fms present here.

[C6819] Sketch looking west   Tirari

C6820  looking north [C6821] [C6822] Sketch Katapiri, Tirari, Etadunna, note that the Tirari has been pinched out with the Katapiri cut into the Etadunna fm. Tedford points out that the Tirari overlies the Mampuwordu  but not the Katapiri. It is not known what the relationship with Wipijiri is (this is only known at Ngapakaldi) T. does not believe that Tirari is the lateral equivalent of the Wipajiri Tirari is not fossiliferous anywhere.

C6823 Taken at the top of the syncline where the Etdunna is thickest [Sketch] Tirari , Dolomitic limestone of the top of the Etadunna.

C6827, 28 Lawson Quarry, a Mumpuwordu channel in the Etadunna overlain by Tirari.
C6829 Keane Quarry: - note the ?ypcrete in the Tirari above the contact.

Started to look for fossils and found a lot of scrap bone from the Etadunna. Fantastically rich. Paul found some teeth  with a curious sclandent[?] fn of two sets of 3 cusps.[6824 after excavation]
Started back to camp. Camp alongside the large N.S. dune.

Collected spiders. A very warm night with an incredible sandstorm which got out in the night and could have torn everything to shreds if we had had tents.

> 27th August (Thursday) 1970
Camp at Palankarinna in lee of the dunes on west side of lake. We collect the teeth and mandible found by Paul Lawson yesterday. Photos of mandible in situ.[C6824]. Photos down the line of exposures looking south [C6825]. Photo [C6826] looking across the lake to the Dricrusted[?] sediments to fossils which Dick believes the Silcrete[?] clants in the sediments are derived C6826,27 See notes of previous day.[error in transcribing fm pencil notes]. Drove back to camp for  lunch after collecting all moving. Sched. [6832] Landrover in Dunes on my way back to camp. Perth 3.48 pm. 25th Dr Ride 8WNX


C6829 Shows the Mampuwordu sands in quarry face.
C6830 Same scene of above / Tiari Hand pointing , say where D M ends.
Yellow gohere of Mampuwordu Sands, Etadunna in hole.
C6831 Dipnotodited plate in situ.
Set off for Lake Kanunka. Passage up the broad valley to the Cooper.
Cooper Creek photo C6828

Continued along Cooper to a point recognised by Tedford as been away northwards up a dune valley wth a seismic track running along it with shot holes. Lake Kanunka, excellent exposures of sediment.

Camped at the foot of a large bluff - the eastern side of the lake. Very cold night. Too tired to collect. Harry went out and got some spiders while I talked palaeontology. On the way up the country was very impressive little vegetation and almost no signs of water. A beautiful little mob of brumbies came down and investigated the convoy of Landrovers and galloped along waiting about 23-25mph for several miles. V. impressive. Dunes about 20-30 ft high, fairly well vegetated except the crests.

> 28th August 1970 (Friday)
Camped at Lake Kanunda. Up at 5 am, dreadfully cold. The Sminthopsis had died in the night. A female with large teats but no young. Preserved in formalin [WR218] F. Sminthopsis crassicaudata centralis, very large ears (rather like lirtipes) tail, invanited but not fat, white patches behind the ears very marked. Ears without the the distinct dark triangle of sunken S. crassicaudata. Tail shorter than H and B., feral colour a display four al white indourifers.

Clayton Bore shown on Birdsville Track between Marree and Etadunna H.S. ; W.H.Butler by hand, HB. 80, HF16, FA19, TV68, F22. Photographed the stratigraphy at the camp site. C6824,35 Sketch.

Collected for the scree of Katapiri, very rich indeed.
C6836,37 C6838 Map of the Etadunna localities. Scheds.


Drove north along the lake then out to Lake Pitikanta, a remarkable lake with excellent exposures of Etadunna fm. Saw how whole skeleton Dyprotodontidae were collected on earlier expeditions where driver presence is indicated by signs of surface bane.
Mandible of small Dyprotodon Ngapakaldia as found by weating pattern.

General view of above. Etadunna fm with tigia and a Katzini channel in mesa background. Another skeleton revealed by ducertution.

5 skeletons revealed in valley. Mandible 04 excavated and shellac added. Plaster badged for removal. Had lunch and then drove back to Lake Ngapakaldi.

Very unimpressive. Low exposures on the Eastern side. An island in the middle and the Western side have better exposures but no vertebrate fossil locs. C6810 general scene of exposures. Walked northwards for a little bluff midway along the Southern side of the lake and came to the Wipajiri loc. This is a very strange locality walked by small clasts reaching out into the beach. They found it by avere and some turtle bones which weakened out. They then put in a trench and find that it was a channel rising parallel to the beach and below the present surface: it is in the Etadunna but there is no Tirari fms to give superimprintual control ? Where does it come in the sequence ? The fauna is very strange indeed. the channel enters Etadunna clasts. Is there some possibility that the channel is itself laid down in Etadunna times and not post-Etadunna ?

Clasts on the beach.
Clasts of fossil plants (Detail)

Drove up into the dunes to find a little valley for the night. The evening started warm 67*F - collected spiders & wrote up diary. Got cold by 11.00. To bed.

> 29th August 1970 (Saturday)
Camped at Lake Ngapapaldi. Left to drive south via Pitikanta to pick up the mandible in plaster block. Dick Tedford and Mike Plane decided to go north with the Bureau party to investigate some as yet unexplored lakes which had good exposures in the photos. Left at 0810 after sched and sent RIDE PHONE 862242 PERTH LEAVING ETADUNNA TODAY ON WAY ALICE SPRINGS STOP TELL JOHN PERMITS OK LOVE DEE

Passed old well. Harry shot 2 Babblers that he is not familiar with. Took photos of the locality which is approx  1.5 m. north of Wyalta Waterhole in Cooper Creek (654448) [C690].

Cooper Creek. We joined the truck we took work at his place. We had got one dune too far east on the way back and did not have the advantage of the seismic track. [C690].
Crossing of the Cooper.

Cannuwaukaninna Bore. had a wonderful bath in hot water, washed the spilt oil off the roof of the Toyota (due to oil cans being insuffiently stood and splitting in the roof rack) and washed our clothes.

Clayton Bore. Met the others and camped for the night. Had a good talk, especially with Jim Warren. He will write to me about the need for an Australian Carbon Dating Ind. to be run on a commercial(?) basis. I have told him that I will have a go at the WAIT

> 30th August 1970 (Sunday)
Camped at Clayton Bore, said goodbye.
Started on the Birdsville Track and photographed Marree [C6916]
Marree 24 gals of super, All new supplies of vegetables and meat $9.52
Signpost Oodnadatta road.
Gate in Dog Fence.
Photo of country - very desolate Margaret Siding !
Mount Hamilton Homestead
William Creek Hotel - Turned west off the Oodnadatta road at a signpost Oodnadatta  130
Anna Creek Homestead turned left at road marked to Coober Pedy.
Gibber plain (photo[c6919].

Camped beside creek in good eucalypts, the first we have seen all day of any size. The country we have been through is very desolate and heavily grazed. For the first part (i.e. Birdsville Track - William Creek mostly "bush" or mitchell grass, very little ground cover). After William Creek a few sandhills but not much cover. After Anna Creek low vegetated dunes with extensive gibber between. Altogether very little vegetation left but enough to show that there must have been pretty good cover prior to stocking - but now virtually nothing. There does not seem to be any plant (like spinifex in Pilbara) which has taken advantage of the situation.

Blew a tyre (staked) coming into amp - Harry fixed it as well as that we did the other day. H collected spiders, a beautiful yellow one. Temp 43*, I prepared maps.

> 31st August 1970 (Monday)
Camped on creek to east of Coober Pedy. Photo [C6920] of map with Etadunna Formation locs. filled in for teaching.
0800 Sched sent.

[C6528]Photo of Coolibahs along creek bank at camp. Spiders cone osteid (the new yellow one) in burrows about 8" degs" in sediment above creek bank. Sediments sandy gossels did not find in the soft lam. Bruno with silk-lined rim and lined with silk. Photographed spider & bread bin - also a small-chosed scorpion which we found about 12 inches down in a Trapdoor spider burrow [6521-27].

Coober Pedy. A remakable place which looks like an outback town which has been set down in the middle of a mine. Heaps of mullock all over them place, dirt roads anywhere anyone wanted to take a vehicle a cloud of dust & vehicles parked all over the place, an increddible mixture of built places (pub,  post office, store etc.) as well as the traditional dugouts. Called on Eric Smith of "Aladdin's Cave"- a contact of Harry Butler's. Eric sells opals and anything else which will catch a tourist. Had coffee with him in his 11 room dugout. It cost him $20,000 dollars only a couple of years ago. He is the chairman of the Progress association. They are fighting hard for local government and were responsible for the recent clear up of some hard cases following the recent robbings and stabbing of an opal buyer. Had a few drinks with him and agreed to identify a shell for him. Fuel 16 gals supplies $4.22 (total to date $13.54).

Drove over to the rubbish tip to see if we could find any small shells which Harry found last time he was here. Nothing except 2 small boys spending a useful morning breaking bottles ! Wrote to Sunes & Kathy.

Mt. Willoughby Homestead. Oodnadatta Rd. joins from the east. Welbourn Hill. Camp in mulga on a stray plane. After we had eaten we went out and collected spiders. V. few species here but many individuals. The country here is pretty poor. For the first 70 miles north of Coober Pedy it was gibber plain with very little vegetation at all, a little low scrub here a cheae and an occasional mulga. At about 60-70 m. N. of Coober Pedy stands of mulga become common and for the next 50 or so miles one almost continues. However since then there have been alternate gibber plains & mulga. The camp is in mulga with virtually no industry - much frequented by cattle. The gibber plain surrounding it is very bare.
Approx 24 m. S. of Gibber Downs Homestead on the Coober Pedy Rd.

> 1st Sept. 1970 (Tuesday) 1st day of Spring.
Camp 24 m. S. of Granite Downs H.S.
Drove northwards, a lovely day, country badly affected by grazing.
Photo of degraded mulga country [C6933].

Granite Downs turnoff. out of fuel in tank (consumption p - 250 miles at 12 1/2 mpg : not good enough). Very nice patch of good mulga & grevillea[C6934,5].
Border of N.T./S.A.. Country still generally rather poor but rather more grass.

Victory Downs turnoff. Victory Downs. Now running a motel business, fuel 22 1/2 gals. Lunch stop. Photo of a rather nice Cassia [C6926] collected a bit too. It occurs as a rather pale green bush in sandhills.

Sched. Telegram recd. RIDE 8WNX PERTH10.12am

Photo of Musgrave Ranges at N.E. end [C7001].

Mulga Park H.S. Looks a nice place, lovely country with excellent mulga and various shrubs including the Cassia and native poplar Codnocarpus. Good grass. Photo of road lined with native poplars [C7002].

First Triodia we have seen in the whole trip! From here on the whole plant association begins to look more familiar and typical of the Western Desert as we know it. Occasional sandhills, grasses and spinifex seeding. Plenty of water, Euros in rocky places.
Mt Connor looking as striking as I expected from the air [C7003]

Curtin Springs, Mrs Dawn Severis (husband Peter away), a motel & petrol station. Dawn very pleasant to us, gave us a cup of tea (she was a Qld friend of Harry Butler who visited with the U.S. Exped. and also with Rolf Harris) and let us have a shower. Very nice. Felt well dressed afterwards despite lack of ironing. At least our clothes did not call attention to us. A busload of schoolgirls (from Melburne S.C.E.G.G.S.) had broken down there  (50 tourist buses a day!) - schoolgirls are rather more attractive than I remember!

Camp. Went spider collecting T. 52*F, very few individuals about. None in the dune. Shot a rabbit with the .410 pistol. Got one Lialis burtonis being not spinifex, H. shot a Tadarida australis in the firelight! m. [WR219], ivB 85 mm, TV 47 mm, HF12 mm., E 29 gm., forearm 55 mm., Wt. 34 gms., gulmar pouch of moderately developed Hairs in two tufts but not bristle or strikingly rich brown as in [217]

> 2nd Sept 1970 (Wednesday) 
Camp 6m. w. of Curtin Springs in mulga in a slight clay flat with desert oaks and mulga. A sandhill behind, some spinifex. [C7004] First photos of Ayres Rock. Sched 1 recd DR RIDE 8WNX WEAPONS RESEARCH ESTABLISHMENT SALISBURY S.A. SUGGEST YOU PICK UP FUEL AT DOCKER RIVER AS GILES IS NOT SET UP TO SUPPLY FUEL AND IS IN ANY CASE A RESTRICTED AREA. WEAPONS SALISBURY

Ayres Rock Warden's Office & letter box. Talked to Derek Roth, Curator of the Rock (Ranger). They are having real problems over controlling people and keeping them in camping areas and on roads. They had 27,000 last year and 15 tourist buses a day at present. His offsider is Ian Carwood and Lance ?. He was particularly bitter about so-called naturalists etc who seem to think that they need special treatment. He gave an example of a group from the University of Adelaide who were not aware that they needed permits. He is an ex-policeman from Nairobi and seems competent.
Collected owl pellets, and bones from ambast in a ledge.

Met Dave Simpson and (aboriginal) wife Trixie, he is a motor mechanic and is trying to get set up at the Rock. He is performing unofficially under canvas (a camp - with corrugated iron under the canvas!) and has a small museum of artifacts. He would like to get some lainduley points.
8.00 left Rock.

Took a lot of photos round the Rock and also over towards Olgas. Desert oaks lovely. Left circular track in the NW of Mt. Olga, joined Giles track [C7014] last photo at Mt Olga, joined Giles track at Nat. Park sign. Collected Ampliboleus inernis in flat burrow after it ran across the road. Collected noteu.

Armstrong Creek. Photographed beefwood and blackwood on the flat (beefwood's a drooping Acacia, bloodwood is a Eucalypt) [C7018]

Camp on the edge of a dune 6 miles east of the Irving Creek crossing on the Giles Road. Sandhill alive with small mammal tracks. Set all the Elliott traps (20) and also set about 26 breakbacks. Went out in the evening to look for spiders, again very few induviduals here T.55*F. Collected a gecko as well. Back in camp H. shot a Nycticeius in the spotlight. [WR220] Nycticeius , H B 53 mm., Ear 13mm., TV37 mm. forearm 35mm. HF 8 wt 10 gm. The bats are flying low over a profusely flowering Acacia, very difficult photo, they were so close. The Acacia is a lovely white-stemmed little tree (?shrub) about 8ft. tall.[C7019].

Very tired,  I don't know why because we rose late and have not done much today. To bed at 10.30

> 3rd Sept. (Thursday)
Camped on the Westward facing of a sandhill 6 miles East of Irving Creek. Mulga on the flat, spinifex and grass on the sandhill with flowering acacias and a few mallee-form Eucalypts with broad leaves. Trapped one Notomys alexis f. [WR221] H & B 98, E 24, O+2=4, tv139, Wt 36 g , Hf 32, Incisors not grooved. Made him a stall. Gular pouch a rather confusing feature. It is a whorl of white hairs with a bare area in the centre. When the animal is relaxed it looks like a pouch but when it is examined closely & stretched it can be seen that there is barely enough of a raised rim to call it a pouch Nevertheless there is little doubt that it is alexis. The book might be improved by the words "(sometimes a saucer-like depression of bare skin)" inserted after "pouch". Pregnant 4 foetuses approx 18 x 13 in utero. Note: When the animal was skinned the pouch showed as a thin window-like area in the throat. The creamy white hair of the actual area also shows through the skin. Both areas are separate [C7020] locality of N. alexis (sandhill). Holes common, tracks everywhere.

Photos of the two eucalypts of the country. Collected species for honesis Blackwell [C7021,2] opposite leaved small fruit.(mallee form but also as a tree about 40 ft high).[C7023,4] alternate leaved bigger fruits.

Small rock cistern on side of road in a low outage of granite. Typical Desert rockhole bad dry and not maintained.

A tree of Duboisia hopwoodi, Pitcheri, about 10 ft tall [C7025, 6, 7,8] also a mob of about 20 camels.

[C7028] photo of the edge of the Petermann country [C7030] of Bloods Range in distance.  This is lovely country ; by groves of Desert oaks, some white backed Eucalypts in addition to the mallees, mulga and gidgee None of it has been grazed and there is no browse line. The grass and spinifex is in high seed and it all looks golden and wonderful.

Shaw Creek.
Chirnside River, lots of Wirlies on the flat [C7031] - deraded.
Hull River Lasseter's Cave where they found his log.[C7032,3]. A lovely place under these conditions - but woeful without hope of relief.
A grindstone and pieces of ochre on the river flats.

Petermann range - view across to the gap behind the Ruined Ramparts [C7034].  Docker River Crossing.

Docker River Settlement. Met Supt who runs it for the N. T. Administration. This is not a mission but a Govt. Welfare place. Well equipped with canares about 300 people here. Supt hopes to run cattle - this will be the end of this wonderful place. 12 gals.

W.A. Border. Just before that saw a grove of blackboys also took [C7035] to the north.

Rebecca Creek. T.O. to Sandy Blight Junction, photo of white eucalypts [C7036] Giles Corner NOT  41 miles as per map BUT 31. To road down a track to camp at 714.4. Collected spiders. 52* F.

> 4th Sept (Friday) 1970
Camped some miles down a track to the east of the main track in an attempt to find a rock-hole marked approx 16 m. s. of Giles Corner on the map. These maps are difficult to me because of the lack of features. Must tell John Morgan.
Back on main track.
Northern edge of area excluded from Native Reserve (identified by "F.E.Govt" signs)
Photo of a new Mallee [C7101]

Blackstone Camp turnoff. Photo of a dead mulga and regenerating mulga is a situation that stock could not be involved. Mt. Aloysius in background [C7102]. Track joins far west along northern flank of range. T. O. to the Wingellina Camp. Wingellina Camp. Met John Smith and Mrs. Smith (camp manager), Dave Louth (Manager of Alice office of International Nickel), Cliff Hall. The men have all left preparatory for the total shut-down and John Smith expects to move out in a week or so. They invited us to use their hot showers (bliss) and took the opportunity to do a little washing as well. They gave us lunch and afterwards they all took us around the sites which were reported on by Crawford and Tomlinson.

S.A. Border nearest Mt. Davies [C7103]. Cleft in range making Irundju waterhole, this is part of the Papa myth. Crawford's site 1.[C7104-7]

Butler noticed grinding grooves in the rocks and immediately identified these as ochre grinding places for ceremonial - but I am suspicious because I find no ochre lumps at these sites.

Drove up the hill to Crawford's site 12 the place where the dog split in the hillside this is Njugali. Photographs [C7108-11] including a set of stones and sticks and leaves arranged on top of an adjacent rock. Flakes common around this site. Photo[C7112] of Aicotinium.

Arrived at the next site in the Papa myth (Crofonds site 3); the red sandhill where the puppies played. Njiguwalgu. This is a sticky isolated sandhill - quite out of place. International Nickel have fenced it and put up signs.

Drove on to Giani's claim. This is being worked by a group of whites Reg Hockley (manager) & wife, Des..., Norm ... who set up the ground with a bulldozer and then employ natives on piecework to pick up drums of chrysoprase or moss agate. Reg estimates that in a 10 day period a man can at the current rate of working about $20  and that he works about 6 hrs per day. This compares unfavorably with the International Nickel rate for natives of $61 per week (6 days ; 8 hrs day) or for casuals $55 which John says he has to reduce to $45 for late starting, etc. This should be looked into. The per drum rate is $10 for chrysoprase and $5 for moss agate.

Drove over Wingellina Hill where took photos of cave Njangalba, and hill with pyrics (pieces of magnesite) Ngangguna  [C7118-21]. Some of the magnesite is clearly placed in position, one small cave had yellow ochre on the floor, the larger cave had ayle charcoal (Site 13). Also took photos [C7122,3] of the ruins of the place where the dingo bitch had been. This had been destroyed by rock hunters.

Back at camp took photos of Stran's instructions to employees re sacred sites [C7124]
Mining camp at Wingellina.
Main road to Blackstone, Giles, etc.
Blackstone turnoff - took it. Blackstone camp and mill. Seems deserted.
Camp on side of road, probably  a couple of miles short of the Cavenagh Range turnoff.
Collected spiders and turned in. A very warm night - no wind.

One huge spider - very beautiful with very long striped legs and small body ; Red eyes, adpressed to a round boulder in a wash. Most memorable. Very few spiders of about 5 species. A mulga thicket in a creek with gravels.

> 5th Sept 1970 (Saturday)
Camped in a mulga flat on the side of the road. The site is a wash of black sand and boulders and has nothing to commend it except a total absence of bindiie! It is incredibly dead and no tracks around the camp.
Cavenagh Range track to south, stayed on main road.
Bilbring and Lightning rocks. The rockhole is completely dry. Looked over Bilbring, there has been no defacementof the pictographs since I was last here but tyremarks show that the rock at wayside is visited.[C7125,26]

Giles Tank still has a little water in it - very low in incredibly dry season. Main tank empty i.e. we have done 277 miles since Docker River on the main tank much of it at 50-60 mph. Tank on roadside: mill and tank.

Warburton Mission. There had been a message over our fuel and they will only let us have 20 gals to fill the main tank. Very irritating because we counted on the extra to get us down to the sticknest rat locality. 3 girls at the hospital having trouble with severe cases (one a dehydrated baby). Hoped I was a medic, felt sorry for them.

They have had a very poor season about 150 points altogether although they say Cosmo "just down the road" (i.e. 300 miles away)had over 300. No wonder the rockholes are dry.
Native Welfare Reserve sign.

Deviated several times from the road search for the way into the Neale Jn. road without success. Finally found a good road 34.7 miles from Warburton Mission and went down it bearing approx 113*, and heading straight on the skyline for the Simpson Hill group of heights.

Left main road to go down the road , stopped at Hwy , collected a banded whiteface [Aphelocephala nigricinata].
A lovely patch of mallee sandplain between sandhills.
3 White crosses - probably a datum point for aerial photography.
Reluctantly decided to turn back ; too dangerous without wireless and not enough petrol to get us to Cosmo. Camped in the mallee sandplain seen before.

Harry shot a Tadarida australis [222] f. with much white, a white collar and two white patches on the lower thorax on either side extending to the red vertical line from the two round white stripes. Garlai(?) pouch very obvious , but tuft of hair and small all within the pouch. H. made a skin to show colour. H & B 88 mm., E.26, TV46, fuermn 60, HF 13, Wt. 34 g. body in spirit.

Collected spiders, not many around despite reasonably warm eveving, moths numerous while at Warburton we collected mail and telegrams, mail for me with news of family. Telegram:
1. 4.9.70.  10am.RIDE
2. 4.9.70. 10.37 RIDE
3. 5.9.70 Perth RIDE

> 6th Sept 1970 (Sunday)
Camp in mallee in sandhills. We recorded this locality on the label of the Tadarida as approx 25 m. ENE of Winduldana Rock Hole approx 25 m. SSW of Warburton Mission. [C7129, 30] of eucalypts at the site.

Curved back at main road, airstrip across the road. Road curves away northwards towards Sutherland Range. - all these factorsa point towards the road we are on being Dick Huotham's road to Neale Junction.

Winduldarra Rock Hole . The rockhole is very similar to Gamba R.H. but less well-shaded and is dry. It badly needs cleaning. We walked out the breakaway behind the rockhole. These extend around a wide depression to the NE and have numerous caves and holes. The rock and stick piles of the "rat" are common, but H. is very sceptical about them. He will not agree that they are modern and claims that the aborigines do not know such an animal. Personally they
 look recent to me al some have recent scats of bark fibre on the outside. We did not open any up.

Collected a group of 20 E. purilis from a small hole in the ceiling of a cave shelter. I arescaped col the other 11 were all femane, probably a wholly female colony. We took 8 and let the rest go. [WR223-230] Very little sign of life. The cave shelters look interesting and would be worth an excavation. Collected some owl pellets with what seems to be Leggadina hermannsburgensis.

Gamba (Gahnda) R.H. Went to the caves in the cliffs at the back and Harry showed me where he got the Macroderma many years ago. The cave seems to be a solitary roost - still occupied. Also visited a much larger dune cave which has a floor covered by old Macroderma deposits. Not in use and no obvious skeletal remains. Found disguised jaws in cave.

After Gahnda we ran into two parties of natives with a car and a lorry in trouble. Harry gave advice. The lorry seemed to have a huge number of old people and children in the back and everywhere - amazing how they all got in.
Mannida Rock Hole.
Muggan R.H.
26th //road south to Hunt oil camp. (disused)
Terhan R.H.

Harry shot E. pumilus flying at dusk.[WR231]Fem. H&B 39mm, E. 9 16.2 miles SW, T.V. 36 forearm 34  Tehran R.H., Hf 5, Wt 5.3 Warburton Rd.

Sign after lake entry saying 2.8 miles to water to N of road. Followed in to Watchole with water. Camped in a flat plain with Eremophila bushes in a rather kopi-like deposit.

Collected spiders (T.56*F) very numerous. Harry set net over water.
Bats collected at Winduldarra R.H. E. pumilus (females)
No  H B  TV  E  Hf  Forearm  Wy. g.
223  41    39   11        6   34            4.5
224  44    42   10        6   35            5
225  41    39   11        6   34            5
226  41    39   11        6   34            5
227  42    39   10        6   32            4.8
228  44    37   11        6   32            5
229  45    41   11        7   35            5.3
230  39    36   10        6   33            5.
No 223 Skin & body in formalin. Remainder in formalin.

> 7th Sept 1970  (Monday)
Native well at Paine & Barclay Peg PB84

A good warm night & cloudless morning after yesterday morning which looked like rain. Took photographs of the well & birds at it [C7131,2,3]. Galahs, spiny-cheeked honeyeaters, crested pigeons. Collected a small spider, camouflaged on back for the stem of an eremophila.

The well is signposted at main road "Paltju Soak".  Main Road.
Beegul Rockhole, tiliqua crossing road.
Minnie Creek (Yamarna) turn off. New turnoff signposted Yamarna 23 m.
Cosmo Newberry. Filled up.
Windana T.O.
Laverton Pub.
Menzies turn off Xroad, took direct route and avoided Leonora.
Kookynie. Main road -- Bitumen !!
Menzies filled up. Kalgoorlie Post Office.

Rang Margaret and discovered that Seds had had an emergency operation for acute appendicitis and had been seriously ill. Now O.K. sounded v. forlorn. Coolgardie. Rain building up, cold night ; decided to drive through rather than get bedding etc. out. Both feeling very fresh. Southern Cross 21+ gals, had meal.
6 Florence Rd. at 01.30 am.
end of trip.
Item availability
{ 1 } items found
Shelf no
Archives room (Bay 3)
On Shelf