|Outback Fiber Colors
Australia is a unique continent with an
abundance of wonders. Since we import our Merino wool
from there, we named our fiber to reflect Australian
colors and themes. Since many are not familiar with some
of the color descriptions, we have described them here
for your enjoyment.
The large sulfur-crested cockatoos are native to
Australia and can be seen in large flocks in the wild.
These cockatoos are white and sport a crest of pale
yellow feathers atop their heads which rises upward and
forward mohawk fashion when they are interested or
The infamous Scottish thistle made its way to
Australia along with some of the early settlers. The
beauty of its vivid purple bloom belies the prickly
thorns that cover the majority of the plant.
Rich in minerals, Australia is mined for many of
its precious and semi-precious gems. This same emerald
green can be seen in the colors of the many lagoons
surrounding the many coral atolls found along
Australias eastern shoreline.
ME4 Barrier Reef
This translucent blue of the warm ocean
surrounds the length of coral islands that stretch
hundreds of miles from the northeastern tip of Australia
southwards along the eastern shore of the continent This
is the Great Barrier Reef.
ME5 Coonawarra (coon-uh-worra)
This rich wine-growing region north of Adelaide produces
much of Australias red wine. Pick up a bottle of
Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon when you are next in your
local wine store. The U.S. imports large quantities of
these superior wines.
Featuring every shade of pink, purple and red, almost
every garden in Australia boasts a fuschia bush of some
variety. The rich hues of the blossoms attract many of
the nectar-loving birds with their long, delicate beaks
and tiny wings just one size up from the
ME7 Bloomin Lilac
If youve eaten at Outback Steakhouse,
youve probably tried their "bloomin
onion". A euphemism for the old English expletive
"bloody", numerous Australian nouns are
preceded with the bloomin adjective. Lilac bushes
transported from England by early settlers bloom in
abundance in the early springtime in Australia. Whilst
pink and white varieties occur, the predominant color is
the shade of pale purple.
Australias kookaburra is a relative of the
English kingfisher. The teal-green that appears so
vividly on the kingfisher does not appear on the
kookaburra.... but he gets a laugh out of that.
What can I say?.... except that if you ever
visit my dads farm in Tasmania and you take a walk
on a moonless night, the color black comes to mind
ME10 Snowy River
If you missed the movie, you need to rent it.
Set in the mountains of south-eastern Australia this
movie depicts the true beauty of the region. The
snow-capped mountains are the source of the Snowy River
which provides enormous quantities of hydro-electric
power to Australians.
ME11 Wombat Grey
This short-haired grey, herbivorous mammal,
found only in Australia, digs large tunnels underground.
Sleeping during the day and foraging at night, these
harmless marsupials resemble short-legged bears and their
cumbersome waddle makes them early victims of the
ME12 Convict Grey
The largest proportion of the early Australian
settlers was comprised of convict prisoners sent from
England to establish "the colonies". There is
no evidence that their uniforms were grey, but at the
Port Arthur penal colony on the southern tip of Tasmania,
the lives of the convicts were certainly a dismal grey.
Cut off from the main part of the island by the narrow
"Eaglehawk Neck" which was patrolled by both
guards and dogs, the convicts faced only the cold grey
ocean... all that divided them from civilization and the
ME13 Tasmanian Raspberry
More than anything else, I go home for the raspberries!
No-one asks what I want for dessert... they just bring
out a bowl of fresh raspberries and a jar of the thick
cream from our jersey cows that I grew up milking by
hand. Gourmet cook as I am, no fancy dessert comes close
to the taste of this delicious fruit.
ME14 Southern Cross
This constellation appears only in the southern
hemisphere. Visible all year round on a back-ground of
navy blue sky, it is featured on the Australian flag,
along with the Union Jack in the corner.
ME15 Crimson Rosella (roz-ella)
This glorious parrot sports a scarlet chest and a blue
overcoat. Abundant in the southern state of Victoria,
these parrots can be drawn to suburban gardens with a
supply of seeds.
ME16 Tamar Blue (tay-mar)
The Tamar river in north-eastern Tasmania is named after
its British counterpart. It provides a small shipping
channel to the second-largest city on the island,
ME17 Barossa Wine (bah-ross-uh)
Most famous of the wine regions of South Australia, this
valley produces some rich reds that deserve only to be
paired with the best of steaks. Look for wines from this
region in the Australian wine sections of your store.
ME18 English Violets
With little pocket money, my gifts to my mother often
came in the form of a bunch of deep purple violets from
my little garden. Rich in memories as well as color, I
chose this color for my wedding... and I wont wait
to get "old" to wear it... I wear purple now.
ME19 Derwent (dur-went)
The most southern river in Australia divides Hobart, the
capital city of Tasmania, and flows into Storm Bay and
out towards the south pole.
ME20 Bundy Rum
The town of Bundaberg (fondly referred to as
"Bundy") is located 200 miles north of Brisbane
in the north-eastern state of Queensland. Surrounded by
sugar cane plantations, the Bundaberg Rum factory takes
the molasses by-products and produces a dark, strongly
flavored rum. Not for the faint-hearted this would
warm a sailors heart and body!
A staple of the Aussie campsite, this light-brown
quick-bread resembles a large American biscuit. Typically
cooked in an iron skillet over a campfire, this flour and
water combination can vary in texture from soft and
fluffy to rock-hard, depending on the cook.
Tropical fruits are abundant in the state of
Queensland, and mangoes are among the best of them. The
rich, golden-yellow flesh is a favorite of the nocturnal
fruit bats of that area. Sundown will see large flocks of
the bats venturing forth for their nightly feast.
Australia boasts numerous varieties of
Eucalyptus (gum) trees. While the trees are evergreen,
many of them shed their bark at varying times of the
year. The Stringybark gum sports a thick, hairy coat of
bark, sometimes peeling back in large shaggy strips, to
reveal the rusty red-brown of the bark layers beneath.
ME24 Simpson Desert
Located in the heart of the Australian outback,
the Simpson Desert features sandy dunes and plains of
rich, rusty red practically impenetrable for those
early explorers who attempted to cross from south to
north on this great continent.
ME25 Peppermint Gum
This gum tree is one of the ten varieties of
eucalyptus whose leaves are favored for food by the
famous koala. Preferring only the tender, new pale green
leaves, this marsupial spends much of its time in a
somewhat euphoric state of slumber.
Where the desert gives way to the foothills,
this small green plant can be found in the rocky alpine
hollows and in the grottoes of the pandanus groves.
Renowned for its showy flowers, sometimes
reaching the size of a dinner plate, this tropical plant
is a favorite in the state of Queensland. This lavender
shade is just one of many of the colors displayed by the
ME28 Nabowla Lavender
Home of the only commercial lavender plantation
in the Southern Hemisphere, the Leslie Plantation is just
a few miles from the tiny village of Nabowla... which is
just two miles from the farm where I grew up. A visit
during the months of December and January will reveal row
upon row of purple stretching endlessly into the
distance, the air heavy with the redolence of lavender
and the sonorous buzzing of bees. Lavender oil is used as
the basis for many of the worlds perfumes.
This small desert succulent sports pale blue
flowers following the all too infrequent rains of the
ME30 Sydney Harbor
This deep, blue harbor offered welcome shelter
and protection to the ships after a long and perilous
journey bringing both convicts and "new
settlers" to Australia. It is easily recognized
today by the soaring "sails" of the Sydney
Opera House and the magnificent span of the Sydney Harbor
ME31 Tea Rose
This old English rose made its way to Australia
with those earlier settlers who longed to bring with them
some of the memories of their "mother England".
Favored for cutting to bring indoors, the tea rose could
fill a room with its delightful fragrance.
The Tropic of Capricorn runs east and west
through Australia at the 23rd parallel, just
south of the city of Rockhampton. North of this line, the
Great Barrier Reef begins angling in towards the eastern
shoreline. The warm, blue-green ocean invites divers and
snorkelers alike to enjoy the clear water and vividly
colorful sealife of this region.
This spreading tree is found in many of the
sub-tropical regions of the world. Its pale pink feathery
blossoms give way to large bean pods at the end of the
ME34 Ned Kelly
This infamous "bushranger" (or outlaw)
is usually depicted wearing the metal "armor"
he fashioned to protect himself against bullets. Roaming
the bushland areas north of Melbourne in the early
1800s, he was finally captured and hung. The
American term of "Kelly Green" to depict this
bright shade has been combined with the famous Ned, as a
little play on words.
The native banksia has stiff, serrated-edged
leaves. The flowers appear in the form of a bristly
cylinder most aptly compared to the brush used for
cleaning out bottles. While most commonly occurring in a
shade of yellow, the most attractive variety sports
flower-spikes in this vivid shade of red.
More to come...