A modern discovery in Victoria’s Goldfields
The township of McIntyre lies in the heart of Victoria’s Goldfields district, about an hour’s drive west of Bendigo.
Artist Linda Finch holidayed there for several years. Her family camping in its quiet rural surrounds for a week or so at a time.
Linda often walked for miles along its isolated bush tracks and trails, revelling in the rustic splendour of the Australian bush. No doubt seeking inspiration in its solitude and delighting in its rural grandeur.
For ten years she strolled past the same tall, dead gum tree. There was nothing particularly spectacular or unique about the tree, save for the fact it housed an aged and disused nest, wedged in a fork of its gnarled and weathered branches.
When the state’s prolonged drought finally broke and the rains returned, the landscape was transformed. A celebration of colour burst forth and the bush itself seemed born again.
While walking past that same dead tree, Linda noticed a mass of sticks and twigs piled on the path beneath her feet.
She looked up to see the nest had been recently renovated and extended, just as a magnificent Wedge Tail Eagle swooped over her head.
Three weeks later she returned to McIntyre. She strolled along that same path and stood beneath the same tree.
This time the nest had a new tenant. A new born, fluffy white chick was pecking at a rabbit carcass its parents had only recently placed on the side of the nest.
While she delighted in her discovery, Linda soon realised that she too was wearing a fluffy white jumper and that (from a distance) she could be mistaken for an eagle chick herself - a sibling that had perhaps fallen from the nest.
Rather than risk a case of mistaken identity, she took some photos and was soon on her way.
These days, her beautiful pastel painting Eagle’s Nest serves as a lasting memory of a unique and exciting experience.