Between Mt Isa and Cloncurry around mid-morning when the external shade temperature was hovering around 40 C. This is ancient volcanic country, mineralised with many base metals - copper, silver, lead, zinc, gold and uranium. The stark beauty always captures my interest. This is ancient, weathered country. Ancient old cones poke up, weathered over millions of years and the area is vegetated by seasonal grasses and stunted trees, many in the eucalypt family, and by spinifex. Scattered throughout, the kurrajong trees grow up against rocks. This house just to the east of Mt Isa is perched up on a spinifex hill.