Tahmoor photographer captures drought-stricken shire | PHOTOS

Wollondilly’s lush green landscape has changed dramatically over the past few months.

Drier weather has turned green fields into rough, dry patches and drained flourishing small dams of their water.

Tahmoor photographer James Whitfield has captured some of the region’s paddocks, pastures and creek beds as they dried up due to recent drought conditions.

He said local farmers and gardeners were feeling the pinch.

“Where there was long grass it is now being burnt off by the sun,” Mr Whitfield said.

“It’s so short some of the farms are almost down to the ground.

“And when we do get rain the ground is so hard from the heat the water just runs off.”

At 75 years of age, Mr Whitfield has lived in the shire for his entire life – his father and grand father were also farmers in the area.

He said the recent conditions were making it difficult for farmers to feed their animals and keep crops watered.

“This isn’t the worst I have seen it but it is definitely one of the worst droughts I have seen,” he said.

“It’s bad, really bad.

“The smaller farms in particular are struggling.”

Mr Whitfield said Wollondilly had experienced strong bush fire seasons in the past and he was glad they had been lucky this season.

“We haven’t had a bad bush fire this year – but there is still a lot of warm weather to come,” he said.

“All it would take is a lightning strike or some careless person to throw a cigarette out the car window.”

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