Drought sweeps eastern Australia — the worst in living memory

From ground level, Australia’s drought looks like a featureless, brown dust bowl, but from the air it transforms into artistry of color and texture as the land cracks under a blazing sun.

Circular dry plow tracks resemble the concentric circles in Aboriginal dot paintings that tell of an ancient mythology; starving cattle lining up for feed look like an abstract painting; and their black shadows stretching across the land create a surrealistic image.

The worst drought in living memory is sweeping parts of eastern Australia, leaving farmers struggling to cope and many of them asking questions about the future. (Reuters)

Photography by David Gray/Reuters

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<p>An old bus used for storing farming equipment stands in a drought-effected paddock on a property located west of the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

An old bus used for storing farming equipment stands in a drought-effected paddock on a property located west of the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>Sheep eat grain dropped in a drought-affected paddock on a property located on the outskirts of Tamworth, in New South Wales, Australia, June 2, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

Sheep eat grain dropped in a drought-affected paddock on a property located on the outskirts of Tamworth, in New South Wales, Australia, June 2, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>A windmill and solar panels stand next to a dam in a drought-affected paddock on farmer Scott Cooper’s property east of the town of Gunnedah, in New South Wales, Australia, July 21, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

A windmill and solar panels stand next to a dam in a drought-affected paddock on farmer Scott Cooper’s property east of the town of Gunnedah, in New South Wales, Australia, July 21, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

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<p>A gate casts a shadow next to car tracks on Jimmie and May McKeown’s drought-affected property on the outskirts of the town of Walgett in New South Wales, Australia, July 20, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

A gate casts a shadow next to car tracks on Jimmie and May McKeown’s drought-affected property on the outskirts of the town of Walgett in New South Wales, Australia, July 20, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>Farmer Ash Whitney stands on the back of his truck as he throws out hay to his cattle in a drought-affected paddock on his property located west of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. “I have been here all my life, and this drought is feeling like it will be around a while,” said Whitney. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

Farmer Ash Whitney stands on the back of his truck as he throws out hay to his cattle in a drought-affected paddock on his property located west of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. “I have been here all my life, and this drought is feeling like it will be around a while,” said Whitney. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>Patterns can be seen in a drought-affected paddock created by a plow on a property located west of the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

Patterns can be seen in a drought-affected paddock created by a plow on a property located west of the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>An irrigated paddock can be seen next to a plowed paddock on a farm located on the outskirts of the town of Mudgee in New South Wales, Australia, July 18, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

An irrigated paddock can be seen next to a plowed paddock on a farm located on the outskirts of the town of Mudgee in New South Wales, Australia, July 18, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>Farmer May McKeown feeds her remaining cattle on her drought-affected property on the outskirts of the town of Walgett, in New South Wales, Australia, July 20, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

Farmer May McKeown feeds her remaining cattle on her drought-affected property on the outskirts of the town of Walgett, in New South Wales, Australia, July 20, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>Farmer Ash Whitney stands in the middle of a dried-up dam in a drought-affected paddock on his property located west of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

Farmer Ash Whitney stands in the middle of a dried-up dam in a drought-affected paddock on his property located west of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>Farmer Ash Whitney stands atop a tree as he cuts off branches to feed his cattle in a drought-affected paddock on his property west of the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

Farmer Ash Whitney stands atop a tree as he cuts off branches to feed his cattle in a drought-affected paddock on his property west of the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>A road can be seen next to tracks leading to a water tank located in a drought-affected paddock on farmer Ash Whitney’s property west of Gunnedah, in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

A road can be seen next to tracks leading to a water tank located in a drought-affected paddock on farmer Ash Whitney’s property west of Gunnedah, in New South Wales, Australia, June 3, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>A cow walks away from a water tank in a drought-effected paddock on farmer Tom Wollaston’s property located west of the town of Tamworth in New South Wales, Australia, June 2, 2018. “I can’t seem to be able to do anything else apart from just feed, and keep things going, and it (the drought) seems to be one step ahead of me all the time. We’ll battle it out, but it puts a strain on everyone,” said Wollaston. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

A cow walks away from a water tank in a drought-effected paddock on farmer Tom Wollaston’s property located west of the town of Tamworth in New South Wales, Australia, June 2, 2018. “I can’t seem to be able to do anything else apart from just feed, and keep things going, and it (the drought) seems to be one step ahead of me all the time. We’ll battle it out, but it puts a strain on everyone,” said Wollaston. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>Dead trees are seen in a drought-affected field on farmer Scott Cooper’s property east of the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, July 21, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

Dead trees are seen in a drought-affected field on farmer Scott Cooper’s property east of the town of Gunnedah in New South Wales, Australia, July 21, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>An old Sydney tram sits in a drought-affected paddock on Jimmie and May McKeown’s property located on the outskirts of the town of Walgett, in New South Wales, Australia, July 20, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

An old Sydney tram sits in a drought-affected paddock on Jimmie and May McKeown’s property located on the outskirts of the town of Walgett, in New South Wales, Australia, July 20, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

<p>Farmer Scott Cooper drops hay for his cattle next to a dried-up creek in a drought-affected paddock on his property named South Park, east of the town of Gunnedah, in New South Wales, Australia, July 21, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters) </p>
Drought sweeps eastern Australia

Farmer Scott Cooper drops hay for his cattle next to a dried-up creek in a drought-affected paddock on his property named South Park, east of the town of Gunnedah, in New South Wales, Australia, July 21, 2018. (Photo: David Gray/Reuters)

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