Shell middens

Crab Creek is about 20-25 kms outside of Broome, Western Australia.  It is an important region for migratory birds.  I love visiting here!  The road off the highway is now sealed for a few kms, then it is corrugated or soft sandy unsealed roads that only adds to the allure of this remote place.  The bumpy ride often leads to silence in the car.  I like this, too.DSCN9467.jpgThere is nothing more Kimberley than a landscape of red dust, blue sky and soft, grey-green foliage.  To me, these are roads that lead to somewhere special.  Always.DSCN9494.jpgThe walk to the beach has a warning about crocodiles, so this is not water one enters to swim, but it is beautiful to observe.DSCN9478.jpgThe mangroves have the most interesting rocks and stones among the shells.  There is no noise here except the call of birds.  The sea, it would seem, is also silenced by the beauty of the landscape that it shapes.DSCN9486.jpgI’ve photographed this region before but did not know the importance of what I had seen.  My new travelling companion was more knowledgeable and filled me in on the aboriginal history of the region.  DSCN9490.jpgMy companion exclaimed excitedly, “Oh! look! shell middens!”  I had no idea what middens meant and it was explained to me, this is an area where ancient people lived or stopped for a while.  The shells evidence of their presence, long, long ago.  DSCN9489.jpgThere were thousands and thousands of shells, bone white in the blazing sun.  Ordinarily I would have picked up one or two to bring home.  Not this time.  I felt I was in the most expensive art gallery and dared not move, in case I broke or moved something special.  So we stood for a few moments, in silent respect.

We were on ancient ground.  This was Yawuru country.

Until next time

As always

a dawn bird



9 thoughts on “Shell middens”

  1. The land is so RED! Lots of iron in that soil.
    There are middens around here from early indigeous tribes, too. And nowadays, archaeologists are digging the trash heaps of early colonists. It was only in the past 60 years that we started have trash collections and town dump sites. Previously, refuse was dumped ‘over the bank.’ I remember as a child treasure-hunting in one behind our house. It’s a wonder I didn’t get slashed by broken glass and rusty cans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes very red and fine powder. Not the best to be walking around in white I found out after my first visit! It’s interesting how much we can tell about people from what they keep and what they discard. Your childhood sounds idyllic!


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