And there’s a smile on every grazier’s face this week from Tilpa to Menindee, the Anabranch and up again.
Consistent rains have fallen this year from north to south.
The inconvenience of being stuck on station for those currently marooned will be accepted as part and parcel of what is setting up to be boom time in the pastoral sector for the next 18 months.
Where the September northerlies usually would rip the goodness out of the grasses before they could provide great value to the stock, this year that hasn’t happened.
It’s been a gentler spring season with high counts on each fall throughout the year.
And that beautiful thundering on the tin roofs of houses across the region has solidified the optimism in an industry that has spent more seasons just surviving, rather than thriving.
Those graziers who are balancing crops reported an oscillation between guilt that the rain was perhaps not great for harvest, mixed with the cardinal sin of never being ungrateful for a deluge.
It’s an unwritten rule in the Far West isn’t it? Never complain about the rain. Graziers have simply gone for too long in recent years, without it.
Even the organisers of the Nanua Gymkhana are looking at the cancellation of their return event this weekend with bittersweet acceptance that you take the rain when you get it.
At Kallara Station, the rams are busier than a reality TV farmer looking for a wife. It’s time to ‘make hay, or lambs in this case, while the sun shines.’
And even though getting supplies this year means a tinny ride and then a plane trip to the ‘local’ supermarket, that extra commute is a welcome adventure for a family who have watched their fortunes rise and fall with the banks of the Darling River, according to the rain gauge.
On the streets in town, Broken Hill doesn’t seem to cope well with downpours like the previous few days, when 20% of the year’s average rainfall fell in one foul swoop.
But give it a few weeks and roadsides and gardens will be singing with a flourish of yet more new growth.
Out at Mundi Mundi Station where just weeks ago the deluge in that area was more an inundation of caravans and music lovers, 20 lucky shearers became the first FIFO shearing crew in the district.
What would Banjo Patterson have made of that? Perhaps, his first ode to a Waltzing Matilda, by air? Or an update to The Man from Snowy River – “There was splashing at the station, as the chopper came to ground.”