Opium Dreams in the Outback

Mining is tough. Mining in arid outback Australia even tougher. Imagine your self back in the late 1800s, armed with a pick, a shovel and a wheel barrow and working a 12 hour hard labour day.

If you’re still determined to endure such hardship then throw in breathing silicate dust all day and having your lungs turned painfully into mush in the span of only a few years.

How did those old timers do it? How did they cope with the work, the hardship and the excruciating pain of slowly dying from disintegrating lungs? Even today there are still clues if you go hunting.

This innocent little flower can be found growing in amongst the stones of long abandoned outback mining towns. The opium poppy was grown and used by the old timers and its use systemic. Perhaps it was such an important part of mining life that without it early Australian mining pioneers would never have kept the manpower they needed to forge their then fledgling industry.

I am so grateful to live in a place and time where the gift of the opium poppy is simply its beauty.

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