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April 26, 2006



Allan Moult of ghostgum.com last evening emailed me as follows:

    Hi Joe

    You have to check out Strawhenge!


Strawhenge (above) was created in Tasmania earlier this year.

Maria Fletcher saw it while driving along the Midlands Highway and sent the photo above to leatherwoodonline, a website that styles itself "Tasmania's Journal of Discovery."

If you don't plan on a Tasmanian sojourn anytime soon you could do worse that spend a bit of time there today instead of doing your usual something close to nothing.

I had the crack research team take a look at the back story of Strawhenge.

I mean, it's not as if they had a whole lot to do.

Or, rather, that they were doing a whole lot.

What a mötley crüe.

But I digress.

Peter Sanders of examiner.com.au wrote about Strawhenge and its creation in a story that appeared on February 5 of this year.

Long story short: Tasmanian farmer Philip Osborne, Strawhenge's creator, was driven by "The Rosebud Effect.".

He told Sanders, "I was deprived as a child and didn't have Lego."

Here's the article.

    Tassie's piece of Stonehenge

    A lack of Lego blocks as a child has led to a strange summer pastime for Epping Forest farmer Philip Osborne.

    He uses bales of straw the way most children use the popular plastic building blocks.

    Regular users of the Midland Hwy near Epping now look out for the annual hay bale constructions on Mr Osborne's Fairfield property.

    Mum, dad, the kids, the family pet and car have all had their turn, but the inspiration for this year's effort dates back nearly 3000 years.

    Stonehenge, 3km west of Amesbury, in Wiltshire, UK, was built of rock and remodelled several times over about 1400 years.

    Mr Osborne's construction, by comparison, was built of 500kg straw bales and took less than four hours to build.

    Mr Osborne said that the shape of this year's bales dictated a different approach from the previous years' round-bale constructions.

    "Once the 400ha of wheat had been harvested, we got the contractor in who cut and baled the remaining straw into bales," he said.

    "Each weighs half a tonne and the shape is much more efficient than the big round bales."

    "But they do amuse people - it's surprising how many tourists stop for a look and to take photographs."

    "I'd love to start a trend and have people doing this all the way to Devonport."

    "The haystack constructions are an easy way to make people smile - I think they're better when they have people in them, but this year's bales really leant themselves to Stonehenge."

    "I was deprived as a child and didn't have Lego."

    "I'd like to make a big sheep, but I haven't quite worked out how to do it yet."

    Mr Osborne's wife, Louise, suggested the Eiffel Tower this year, but Mr Osborne said it would be too difficult to construct.

    The Osbornes' daughter Abby has been responsible for design in previous years.

    "I'd duck into Chickenfeed for some cheap stuff to decorate the bales, like washing baskets for the eyes and buckets for the noses," she said.

    "I didn't know about the Stonehenge construction until I got up last Sunday, but I felt there should have been a sacrificial body on the altar!"

    Strawhenge will remain on view for about a month, until the bales are transported to their final destination.

    Mr Osborne said that he'd like to make the next display for Christmas, but everything depended on when the crop was harvested.


It would appear from the above that Strawhenge came down in early March — but that's not the case.

The crack research team finally emerged from their collective coma a few hours ago and produced Miz P's blog Just For A Little While, out of Tasmania, which reported that as of April 4 Strawhenge was still standing.

Will one of my Tasmanian joeheads please do a drive-by and let me know so I can update the current status of this epic creation?







FunFact: Tasmanians affectionately refer to their island home as "Tassie."

April 26, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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here is a whole bunch of stonehenges:


Posted by: Richard | Apr 27, 2006 12:22:34 PM

There is a replica of stonehenge on the Washington side of the columbia river gorge, made out of cement. It is on the east side of the gorge, and there are bronze plaques on some of the uprights in onor of veterans lost in that county.

Posted by: Richard | Apr 26, 2006 5:13:21 PM

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