NORTHWARD BY CAR.
FARMS AND STATIONS.
MORE ABOUT BYRO STATION.
After running through some miles
good bush country, which had brightened up considerably after the January and February rains, we rounded some hills on the left, and came suddenly on homestead nestling amidst a bower of trees. Here we were welcomed by Joe Keogh, his charming wife, and little David, and whatever the bush can pro vide in tlhe way of hospitality was ex tended. lt is a delightful old home, cool and surrounded with shade from giant pepper trees. One of these trees close to the front verandah was throwing shadow quite a chain in diameter, and looking round for the cause of this ex ceptional growth I was informed that at this point good water is obtainable at a depth of 10ft. These trees were 0nly planted in 1914, and the shallow depth to water was sufficient explanation There are also date palms here which have been growing for 30 years, and, though they produce large bunches
fruit, these do not mature. This was found to be due to the absence of a male trees, but there is a young tree now grow ing in the garden of the right gender and it will be interesting to follow the future result. There does not appear be any reason why date palms should not do well in this country, as the fruit from plantations at Alice Springs and other northern parts of South Australia is
superior to anything that is imported, a always commands a higher price. In
the palm hods on the Sinai Desert it was always found during the recent war that the palm tree ran their roots down to wa ter. which in these positions was always within a few feet of the surface, and as the water at Byro homestead is only 10 feet below ground level, it would appear to provide ideal conditions for their growth. I understand that the Messrs, Nairne Bros. who, with their sons, have done much to develop the pastoral industry of the State, were in occupation of Byro 36 years ago, and it was purchased by the Messrs. Darlot Bros., who had previously been in po session of Berringarra since about the year 1881 or 1882, in the year 1913. The station comprises a million acres, and both sheep and cattle are carried, but
greater attention is paid to the wool producers. Just before the last drought Byro was carrying 28,000 sheep and 5.200 head of cattle, and a substantial number of the stock were safely remove ed from the station before they became too weak to travel. At the present time there are only between 5,000 and 6,000 grown sheep on the place, and there are more to arrive from Urilla. Mr. Keogh states that he is looking forward to
good lambing, as the ewes were mated to drop in July, and there is an abundance of feed on the station. In fact there is feed for many thousands more sheep that are available. This country had such
gruelling time during the drought that many people questioned whether the bush would revive, but it has come back The Wooramel River runs right throngh the Byro Plains on the western end of the run, and this forms the major por tion of their cattle country. I did not have an opportunity of seeing this part of the holding, but I understand that it is undulating, broken land which carries belts of saltbush and grasses, and a form of acacia which is not known anywhere else in the Murchison. On the Byro Plains there are, however, difficulties in
regard to securing permanent under- ground waters. There are two perman ent springs on the Wooramel River, and one sub-artesian supply has been secured at a depth of 1,230ft., the water rising to within 100ft. of the surface, this be- ing pumped -out with a 12ft. airmotor. A second bore has been put down to a depth of 2,170ft. without striking water, and this work is being continued. On the sheep country water is obtainable at from 10 to 80 feet, and there are no failures, although the supplies vary, the well at the house, for instance, giving a supply at 10ft. which is inexhaustible. Altogeth- er there are 50 equipped wells on the
Good Top Feed and Grass.
During the afternoon we made a tour of about 30 miles through the eastern portion of the station and it was a treat to see the fine recovery that the country has made as the result of the summer rains. The mulga, carrara and «alt bush had sprung vigorously into life, and there was a stronp, healthy showing of windgrass, moolta moola, flannel flower and other herbage. It seemed regrettable that with such a showing of feed the station was not stocked to something like its carrying capacity. The only blur on the landscape was1 the overland stock route, which was like an ugüy scar on the face of Nature. Along this track, which passes through Byro, drovers have the right to graze for a mile wide, and the bush has been punished to such an extent that it is questionable whether it will ever recover. Drought has certainly not produced this effect, as on both sides of the route there are bush and grasses, and as it stands now it provides ample testimony that more of these stock routes must be provided through country where water is easily accessible. We visited the shearing shed, which is some miles from the homestead, and here pro- vision has been made for 16 stands. It wns interesting to learn from Mr. Keogh that very satisfactory results had been obtained by the use of a dagging machine, no less than IS bales of wool treated by this inexpensive mill having been for- warded' to market on one occasion.
As we were heading back to the home- stead. Mrs. Keogh sighted a wiid dog running through the bush, and we gave chase in the old station runabout we were using, but the efforts of the dog were superior to the device of Mr. Henry Ford, and it headed off to a range of red hills to the left. Mr. Keogh informed m** that he had been very successful lately in trapping a number of dingoes on the station, and we had substantial proof of this that evening. While we were waiting in the verandah for the summons to the
evening nieaH sounds of distress tilled the air from the bush a few hundred yards from thc house. Various suggestions were made as to the probable cause of tlie disturbance, but Mr. Keogh was more familiar with the sound, and was also aware that he had caught a wild dog in a trap set in this position only a week before. We ran down to where the sounds were proceeding from, and sure enough a pure red dingo slut had been caught. She had carried the trap about 50 yards from where it was sprung, and then got anrhored up in «onie shrubs.
A scene of remarkable chaos was wit- nessed at Dalston (London), when a pirate 'bus collided with a lorry and then overturned. Forty-three out of the 49 passengers were injured, and the .pavement was lined with improvised stretchers. A gang of road repairers rendered admirable service in succour- ing the imprisoned and injured, one of whom has since died.