Down Under Dream by Margaret Dornaus


Welcome to my world, where you’ll find information about my life as a travel writer and photographer–a life I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy for more than a decade.  One that’s taken me to such exotic locations as the Australian Outback (the sunset view above is one that I captured at an Outback billabong while the beach at left is one of Australia’s most beautiful) . . .  and to more humble locales, virtually in my own backyard.  Here, too, you’ll  find posted excerpts from my works-in-progress, as well as links to many of the stories I’ve published already.  Feel free to explore the world with me (click on the “” link here or top right for my fuller biography), and feel free to leave comments of your own along the way.   

 Happy Journeys,   



Yours truly . . . Out back in the Outback by Dave Houser


That’s me, at right, surrounded by a bunch of “billies” in the tiny Outback town of Pooncarie.  You can learn more about my adventures there in the following excerpt from my newly completed travel memoir, House of Thorns:

     . . . When we stop for lunch in the tiny dot called Pooncarie, we’re amazed by the road traffic.  A convoy of El Caminos in every imaginable color has converged on this dusty back road village.  Mick tells us that a B&S Ball is planned for this evening.  “Bachelors and spinsters,” he explains.  Otherwise known as “billies” and “nannies.”

“I haven’t seen an El Camino in years,” Andy warbles as we gape at the long line of Cowboy Cadillacs double-parked on the side of a sheep paddock.

The B&S Ball is a once-a-yearly brawl designed to help potential mates from outlying areas find each other.  Clearly, it is the social event of the season.  We stop in for a preview at the dust-covered field surrounding the giant party tent staked out for the evening’s festivities.  At two o’clock in the afternoon, the pioneering bachelors have already circled their wagons and are heavily into swilling beer after beer as they perfect their ballroom swaggers.  By the time the dance band kicks in at eight, they’ll be lucky if they’re standing.

I sidle up to a group of these wildlife bachelors with my camera.  Their welcoming response gives new meaning to the words “photo opportunity.”  Soon, I find myself ensconced on a billy’s lap; I’m surrounded by half a dozen others.  One of our group’s guides is muttering something about not being able to take me anywhere. . .


7 Responses to “Welcome . . .”

  1. Ken Rundel Says:

    Loved the wonderful excerpt about Eureka Springs from your memoirs, Margaret. You are a gifted writer! And, of course, I love the fact that you, too, love Eureka Springs. Your mom’s right. Maybe you COULD live here!
    Eureka Springs, AR

  2. Bob Jones Says:

    What a treat! While I love Eureka Springs, it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful setting than your current slice of paradise. Thanks for putting up this blog, and I hope you and Chef are doing well!

    Best regards, Bob

  3. Chuck Mai Says:

    I love your wonderful features in the AAA Oklahoma member publication, Home & Away magazine. They are very lucky to have you on board!

  4. Rhesa Says:

    Hi Margaret! I’m your former W 103rd Street neighbor – nice to re-connect with you – and read about your continuing travels! All the best, Rhesa

    1. Thanks for visiting, Rhesa!

  5. snowbirdpress Says:

    Wonderful idea, Margaret, So glad I explored and found your link! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Merrill. I started this before I began my haiku blog to showcase my prose articles. I’m afraid it’s woefully in need of attention. (On my “to do” list . . . )

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