A Pilbara wedding & one extra for the 2017 calf tally

Host: Yarrie Station
Written by Annabelle Coppin, Owner.

Find part one here.

Over a few days before hand near on 300 people arrived from all across the country! Many flocked to the Iron Clad Hotel and then trickled their way to Yarrie to pitch camp for a dawn wedding in a very special little George in the hills. With a short but rocky walk up the gully and breakfast and billy tea served at the entrance of this magic place (or if they preferred a breakfast beverage was also available).

Wedding photo locations were epic.

Even in the dry season we were suffering, fresh water was trickling from the hills into a waterfall and through fresh several pools of clear water. We put the wedding rings in there to soak up the spirit overnight. Bruce our special aboriginal elder who was born on Yarrie came to sing us a song in the local language about the rain in those very hills and somehow, with the help of many, including our ‘all week’ MC Boyd Holden, everyone arrived on time and perched themselves amongst the rocks, caves, around the waterfall and big native fig tree. Once ready they had a minute silence just to listen to that waterfall and really feel that magic place and spirit. The wedding party then probably spoilt that serenity as we showered everyone in our R44 downwash, gave them all a wave and landed at the top of this valley. We then all walked down together with David Gray ‘Sail away with Me’ playing and the rest as they say was history!

The day continued with different adventures about Yarrie, that evening we all regrouped on the front lawn of the house with a special welcoming ceremony from Bruce and his dancing team from the Warralong community. We finished the day with a hell of a good party, and many long but entertaining speeches!

It was definitely a village wedding, some would argue disorganised and crazy, however with the help of our very special friends and family generously pitching in with all sorts of jobs, we had one of the best days of our lives yet just the way we liked it!

Things bounced back to normal not long after that week. The honeymoon was postponed as the hot summer was kicking in, it was dry and we had a lot on our plate keeping the show running. Following that the farm did have a very late break to its season in 2017, which stretched out this challenging period! More hay and pellets purchased and some more long feeding days, this time also eventually ended, now into the spring it was looking fantastic again at the farm.

I can’t begin to explain the relief when the rain finally fell on Yarrie January 2017, it was literally a real life heaven! It was one of the best wet seasons we have had, the rain fell gently and just kept coming for 3 months. The cattle and country responded accordingly, we witnessed an unbelievable change within days of the rain falling; you have to experience it to believe it!

Setting up environmental monitoring sites on Yarrie. This is in the driest period. It is now covered in grass.

Rehabilitation project on Yarrie.

Country after rain in the same site as the monitoring site.

The rain also bought some extra special news with it, Thomas and I were expecting our own special package (aka baby/calf/cub) due to arrive late August! In-between suffering rather challenging ‘all day morning sickness’ we ramped up the plans to get mustering done and dusted before our own calf arrived!

Mustering finished just in time as squeezing through the rails was no longer an option.

Mustering pregnant was a whole new adventure! I’ve always had respect for a pregnant cow, but it trebled with my own experience and everyone knew to take extra care of them as they came up the race that muster (and now always)!

Flying with my ‘’bump’’, and local Pilot from Pilbara Rotor Muster, Niffy and her dog Famous.

The stomach grew in sync into the season, with every inch it expanded my ability to multi-task dwindled. By the end there was no way I could squash through the rails and I really wasn’t good for much except making the plans and of course driving most mad at me barking orders due to the fact I just couldn’t physically to the once simplest-things myself! I did manage to fly up to 30 weeks, then the authorities decided that was enough and took my licence; I wasn’t impressed. I was still the chief cow preg-tester which was rather funny, the girls were trying to convince me to pose in their nudey calendar in this stance … I managed to avoid it. I think it may have reduced the flavour considerably! One of my great savours was spending the majority of the season in the stock camp and relaxing most nights under our own bath perched out under a Warralong tree on the edge of the river bank. There’s nothing quite lying back there with a fire underneath looking up at the stars. I have to admit I did miss not having a bottle of red reside me though!

My magic place in the stock camp.

Perching in one of my favourite trees on Yarrie in an old volcano crater.

With a mighty effort we managed to finish the muster before the birth and I headed to town a few weeks before hand to prepare for the next stage of our lives! The whole team have been champions in this time, I can’t thank you enough for keeping the place humming in my absence.

Tanami Ann born August 31.