Solitary life in Australia's Outback
May McKeown looks up at the stars as she stands in the front yard of her homestead on her 6000-acre property near the town of Come-by-Chance, located over 700 kilometres north-west of Sydney in Australia. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown, aged 78, lives and works on her property mostly alone as her son is constantly travelling. She daily inspects the property and hand-feeds her cattle, writing poems in her spare time about her lonely life on the flat north-west plains....more
McKeown's family has been farming in the northwest corner of New South Wales state since the late 19th century. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown inspects an old Sydney tram that her father used to store grain. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown drives her truck in a paddock as she prepares to hand-feed her cattle. REUTERS/David Gray
Recent rains have brought some relief to an area hit by years of drought that forced McKeown to cut back her cattle herd and hand-feed the remaining animals. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown rests in a chair out front of her homestead. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown sits at a table reading her poetry. In her spare time, McKeown enjoys writing poetry about life on the northwest plains. REUTERS/David Gray
A book of poetry by McKeown sits next to a poetry book by Australian poet Banjo Patterson. She takes inspiration from the works of the Australian "bush" poet, Paterson, who wrote about rural life around the end of the 19th century. Among his most...more
Working alone in a male-dominated field like farming has raised some eyebrows over the years. "Oh, you get all sorts of comments," McKeown said. "But I know sons of farmers nowadays who can't drive a tractor, let alone ride a horse like me, and I'm...more
McKeown watches the sunset. REUTERS/David Gray
She has no plans to retire anytime soon. "I will keep going on doing this for as long as I am fit," she says. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown hand-feeds her cattle. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown stands at the main gates at sunset. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown's hat sits on a chair in her homestead. REUTERS/David Gray
A track can be seen in a paddock. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown drags a metal grate. REUTERS/David Gray
McKeown jumps onto the back of her truck as she hand-feeds her cattle. REUTERS/David Gray
Heat haze can be seen in a paddock on McKeown's 6000-acre property. REUTERS/David Gray
She remembers when her father recited poems from atop his horse on their way home from a day of mustering. "They are memories that I think of and write them down. Like a certain tree in a paddock where something happened," she said. REUTERS/David...more
McKeown is reflected in a mirror on her truck as she shuts a gate on her 6000-acre property near the town of Come-by-Chance, located over 700 kilometres north-west of Sydney. REUTERS/David Gray
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