Silverton: Past Deciding

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (19)

Liviu Chirilă on April 12, 2009

I suppose the place has an interesting history. The photo is very good and the title inspired. Greetings, Liviu

Ian Stehbens on April 12, 2009

Yes Liviu, but I do not know its history. The homestead is about a 1km a;long the road to the north near the creek. This unfinished structure of mud bricks is at the front gate to the property.

And thanks for the affirmation of the photography and title.

Easter Greetings,


Sigurtor Holm on April 12, 2009

nice, happy easter my friend - gleðilega páska Felice Pasqua

greetings from Iceland Sig Holm

Luca Rigato on April 17, 2009

I didn't think that in Australia there is such a great desert. Beauitful photos.

My contest photos

Ian Stehbens on April 20, 2009

Thanks, Sig. Special thanks for your special Easter greetings.


Ian Stehbens on April 20, 2009

Dear Luca,

I am pleased that this desert photo has surprised you. 50% Australia is desert, there being many different types of desert landscape. You wouldn't need to spend long with Google Earth to see the diversity and extent of the Australian deserts.

Broken Hill receives around 220mm rainfall on average.

Many overseas visitors include the interior deserts in their itinerary: Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Alice Springs are special. And the more adventurous Australians explore the deserts in their 4-Wheel-Drive vehicles: Simpson Desert, Great Sandy Desert, Nullarbor Plain, Tanami Desert, Gibson Desert, Lake Eyre, for example.

You might enjoy the banner photos on the South Australia tourism site.

Warm regards,


Marilyn Whiteley on April 24, 2009

Ian, what a wonderful set of Outback pictures you've posted! I haven't time for more comments--we're in Atlanta, and in a few minutes I head back to the archives for another day of intense labour--but I must remark on this. I find it particularly evocative, with the ruin raising questions about the past, and the fork in the road raising questions, too, I suppose, this time about the future ... Well done!


Ian Stehbens on April 24, 2009

I am pleased to hear that you are enjoying the warmth of the south, and probably the cool of the air conditioning as well. We are in the midst of the final packing to leave Sydney and re-migrate to Brisbane, Marilyn. Will be back in the north by Tuesday. And then begins the big adventure of working without compulsions, just high motivation - you know what I mean so well.

I am delighted of course that you like this image for it certainly captured my eye and imagination too.


Olga I. Yakovenko on April 28, 2009

The impression of the forgotten lands with this famous Australian red ground...

Ian Stehbens on May 3, 2009

Quite a contrast from the isolation of Siberia, Olga. Two great regions of wilderness.


jhk on May 11, 2009

Great series Ian on the outback. The colours are amazing, and your shots are creative and very evocative. This one is really great, and aptly titled as well.

Best regards,


PS - I don't know exactly when you took these, but it could be that you were in the outback while I was in the Sahara in Southern Morocco - you might want to have a look at my new photos :)

Ian Stehbens on May 11, 2009

Thanks for the appreciation, Justin. I will explore your Morocco images thoughtfully. My trip to the outback was one of those "must do" items, before we left Sydney to relocate in Brisbane. I caught the train from Sydney to Broken Hill and returned on the bus to Dubbo and the train from there to Sydney... all in 3 days. Then resumed the packing. And here I am now in Brisbane.


jhk on May 12, 2009

Congratulations on the new house then Ian, hope you will find joy and happiness in Brisbane. Do you have a new job then?

Kind regards,


Ian Stehbens on May 12, 2009

Hi Justin,

I have decided to retire from my role as Principal of a college in Sydney, so that I could serve in some specialised areas more as a volunteer. We have returned to our home in Brisbane having lived here till 1990. I soon leave to assist with strategic planning and training for peacebuilding in Bali, Indonesia for a couple of weeks. Then my wife and I will be helping as guest faculty for a post-graduate program teaching ecology, theology, English and peacebuilding in Tonga for a semester.

So Morocco is some way off in the future!!

Thanks for your friendship,


The Man in the Maze™ on June 15, 2011

Hello Ian, nice photo like many others in your gallery. Your gallery is really beautiful, varied and interesting. I have just included you as one of my favourite photographers. Greetings from London, UK

Ian Stehbens on June 15, 2011

Greetings, Vic.

You are very welcome in my gallery, and I will try to keep up the variety and quality in my images, but I assure you your interest is encouraging and your critiques will be helpful. I trust that you continue to enjoy the corners of the world that I am fortunate to visit. I am honoured by your including this gallery among your favourites. Thanks.

Ian (in Brisbane)

Peterbnz on August 2, 2011

IHi Ian, I reckon that about 85% of Oz is desert. Like from Port Augusta, north all the way to Darwin, Broken Hill to the tip of Q'land, from Ceduna from the sea to the sea to the north of the NT, from Kallgolie to the top of WA... and from Perth to Broome.

There is a little patch of Victoria that is desert, and most of the Eyre Peninsular could be considered to be too low in rainfall to be called anyting but desert.

What do you reckon, Ian? Desert is where the rainfall is less than about 3 inches or 75mm per year, and that takes in most of the centre of Australia.

It is only where the rains from the 'Wet' come in that it is not really desert, and I do not know for sure how far south they come.

My travels have only been as far north as 120km north of the SW corner of Q'land, and the patch from there via Coober Pedy and the line to Ceduna. Not anywhere near 1/12th of Australia, I know.

I did live in NSW, Vic and SA for 18 years and traveled extensively inside that area during that time.

Cheers, Peter, now back in NZ

Peterbnz on August 2, 2011

Ian, I see that you reckon that BH gets 220mm rain a year...

That should be like 130mm some years, and down to less than 75mm other years.

When we came into SA from NSW in 1981, the area west of the border had not had rain for nearly 2½ years, according to a landowner, where we stayed near.

You only have to look at the lack of trees and bushes that are not much higher then chest high, to note that the lack of moisture is a problem.

Even in Port Augusta, the rainfall averaged 250mm a year, but in the 15 years we were there it did not get over that amount except for one year - mostly it was more like as low as 190mm some years, not making up for it in the next few years.

The reason BH and PA are so green, is the water is pumped from the Murry to Port Augusta and from the Darling to BH.

Regards, Peter.

Ian Stehbens on August 4, 2011

Your experience of Australia's varible climate is well expressed, Peter.

Coober Pedy, Ceduna and Birdsville are pretty fair samples of the deserts of OZ. But you would need to fly to Birdsville this year - for most of it so far - for it has been water as far as the eye can see. They had 370mm one week in Birdsville, so it wasn't only floodwaters coursing through the desert but local torrential rain. This last summer there were floods in the Victorian desert that you mention for floods affected Tasmania as well - and that is not the season for rain there! - as well as the vast floods across the whole of Queensland and much of NSW.

Bedourie was surrounded by dykes!

I understand the difference between median and mean when it comes to rainfall - which you make very clear. The mean of 220mm can only be achieved by the many years of low rainfall compensated for by occasional deluges.

This dry surface says it all - stripped of much topsoil by heavy rainfalls, and baked red by years of drought.

I love this land of drought and flooding rains, but I live where the rivers are permanent and the mountains are forested, and the clouds and storms and fogs fill the valleys so often.

And when I want to be renewed and enjoy the wild weather of South Island, I hop across the Ditch and am never disappointed.

We live in a wonderful part of the world, both of us.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 11, 2009
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    by Ian Stehbens