Lunettes of the Wimmera

In the Western Victorian region of the Wimmera is composed of gently undulating cleared agricultural plains with remnant vegetation scattered throughout the farmed paddocks. Importantly, this part of the state is also notable for the number and diversity of lakes, swamps and wetlands dotted throughout the terrain, running all the way south west between Horsham and Edenhope and north east towards Ouyen. These can vary from chains of small, shallow dry or salt filled depressions to larger substantial permanent lakes.

But of particular interest to me is a unique feature in the region called the Lunettes. These are ancient smooth earth mounds deposited by wind action near the lake system. In the distant past the undulating alluvial clay plains of the wimmera have experienced major wind events. Thousands of years ago these sweeping aeolian (wind-blown) ridges were swept up into mounds with shallow leaside swales forming in between. These crescent shaped lunettes are common along the northern and north eastern edges of low lying lakes and wetland areas.

I find these natural features completely captivating. In the flat horizon to horizon environment of the Wimmera these ridges can easily be missed. But if you linger and look with purpose you notice them all of a sudden. Now of course they are part of private land that is cultivated by local farmers. And because of this these land-forms are now criss crossed with harvester lines, adding a geometric contrast to their gentle slopes. I’m especially interested in their sculptural nature and when shooting when the light is low and warm they somehow speak of their ancient origin.

I’ll be returning to the Wimmera regularly to capture and document these subtle but beautiful natural features.