In January I visited New Norcia -and wrote this
"The Western Australian bush looks dry at this time of the year, but it knows how to survive the heat, and will be ready when the rains come again"
Today we visited New Norcia again for the Friends of New Norcia Picnic Day -and what a difference the winter rains have made this year!
The canola crops have turned the country into fields of gold, and the wheat is knee high and emerald green. The sheep and cows are looking healthy on their green feed -and the cape weed even is turning everything into gold. Trees are looking much less stressed. There is water in all the dams and the rivulets and on the sides of the road.
We had a lovely day. The monastery town had put on a lot of displays and exhibitions along with a fine lunch and some concerts to attend.
We visited the famous "New Norcia" bakery to see the baker pulling focacia from the 4.5 metre long wood fired baker's oven. They made it with olive oil made from olives first planted over 140 years ago when the Spanish monks first arrived in WA. They brushed them with more oil and garlic and sea salt. YUM!
Like all those lucky enough to work around New Norcia, the baker was happy to share the secrets of his craft and to share the results.
The only downside of the day was the intermittent showers which prevented us from eating our picnic lunch outdoors, and which meant that the final walk from St Ildephonsus' College, where we had been listening to an early music concert, to St Gert's for afternoon tea, resulted in us being absolutely drenched! I am sure it only poured for five minutes -but we were wet through.
So we came home to a warm room and fresh clothes and the glow of a very happy day among the fields of gold.
Here is one last picture.
I love a good day out. My DH and I love being able to escape from our daily routine, and New Norcia is a special place of spiritual renewal for both of us.
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