Beckler's Botanical Bounty Travels

Off to Menindee

I am creating a flurry of activity, getting ready for our annual trip up to Menindee.


I am part of a group of botanic artists who go to Menindee each year, and I drag the Fella along as support crew. Menindee is a little town an hour out of Broken Hill, in the Outback of New South Wales. It was there that the Burke and Wills Expedition stopped for a while. It is also where Hermann Beckler, the doctor on the Expedition, collected plants. Although German, he was fascinated by Australian plants, and collected 120 different species in the area. These preserved plant specimens are now in the National Herbarium Melbourne.

The Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project is about finding the same species in the area, and then creating a watercolour painting of them. This September will be the fifth year that we have been going up there. We are also organising an exhibition of the paintings and the project.

There is lots more information about the Project and the Burke and Wills Expedition on our website. Or you might like to look at my category Beckler’s Botanical Bounty, which shows my earlier posts about my involvement in the Project.

The Tourist Information Centre (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Tourist Information Centre (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Post Office (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Post Office (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Heads down, finding lovely plant treasures
Heads down, finding lovely plant treasures
Carved poles (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Carved poles (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

IMG_8534 IMG_0481

The Fella and I are packing up the van. It suits us to take a lot of food with us. So I have been cooking and freezing meals, as well as packing the perishables. We have checked the things we keep in the van, like crockery and cutlery and pots and all that other stuff. Naturally I have lists and more lists to make sure we have everything and get everything done. The Fella is  ‘belts and braces’ man, so we have more than we could possibly need!

Today I am checking the most important things ~ my art supplies. When I went to Flinders Island earlier in the year I was hampered by a small luggage allowance and I wasn’t sure what I would be doing there. This trip I have the van and the car to fill up with things! Also I know what I will be doing and what I will need, and not need.

So there is organising the things we need to take. As well there is sorting out things at home. I have to leave things tidy for my nephew who is house sitting, and it would be good to get him a little bit of wardrobe space! You know the usual “I’m going away for a little while” things ~ organising bills and catching up with friends and and finalising other projects and so on.

Another on my “need to make sure I do before I go”list was to organise my paintings for an exhibition. The drop off date was when I was away, so I am asking a friend to take them for me. That meant making sure I had them from the framer, checking the paper work, getting them to her. I will leave you with photos of the paintings. I decided that these frilly oyster shells needed a more ornate frame that usual, and I think I was right.

6 replies on “Off to Menindee”

Hi Anne I love your frilly oysters! Your packing time sounds frenetic, and I hope you get everything stowed away that you need. That little van will be packed to the gunnels. We are in the most delightful place, in the south of France, near Toulon, in a lovely apartment looking out over the inlet. We can hear the sound of the waves on the little beach below, though the sand there is black, so not inviting. It is also a long haul up and back to the beach. We have not done that yet as we only arrived last night. We have three full,days here, and one of those we will be visiting our French friends who live near here. I had not heard for her for several years, then she sent me a message on Facebook about two days before we left home! How funny that we were staying about two hours away from where they live! I hope my French is up to it, because they don’t speak English. My French has proved to be fairly hopeless so we will see how we go. It is nice to be able to do some washing as well as to prepare our own meals, and spread out, after tiny hotel rooms. Well enjoy your trip away my dear sister, and come home safely. Much love Judy xx

Sent from my iPad


Your apartment sounds idyllic. That Peter sure knows how to pick them! He is obviously continuing to polish his skills as a tour guide. As for your French friend….if you hadn’t signed onto Facebook she would not have got in touch with you.Nice to know it is not just about funny cat pictures and photos of lunches. 🙂 You travel safely too, and we will get together when we are both back in Melbourne. x x x


It is a fair way to go, but I love long car trips. So much to see, even when the countryside looks to be dull. When I was a child my Mum and Dad would pack us into the car and he’d off with the van. That’s when I learnt how mesmerising those long distances can be.
As for the results, you may be waiting a while. It has taken me a year to finish one of the plants from 2014!

Liked by 1 person

The frilly oyster shells, and framing are very stylish 🙂
You will likely enjoy the break and change of scenery (especially revisiting… I love revisiting good places) more both for the preparation and also because of the thoroughness of it. Safe & happy travels.


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