The Bushfire October 2019

Tuesday started well. The expected temperature was going to be in the high 30’s C after an very hot Monday 39C. It was then that the wind started to blow and blow with gusts of around 45kmph. The electricity went off at around 11:30am so I decided to go down to my shed and get on with some of the projects that I have on the go. After a while I decided I needed a drink of water, so I headed up to the house.

I grabbed a drink or two and checked my phone. I had a voice mail from the neighbour across the road telling me that the farmers up the road had seen the power lines fall and the wires crossed and the sparking started a fire in the already tinder dry bush.

The hot day and strong winds just set the fire racing through the bush luckily for me away from my place.

Later in the afternoon I looked to the sky and saw the plume of smoke which didn’t look all that far away. Then the helicopters and planes were heard as they water bombed the fires hopefully in the other side of the ridge. I did wonder why I didn’t hear much traffic on the Gwydir Highway. Checking on the web I found out that the highway was closed due to thick smoke from the fires.

fire3_smoke_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

That night I kept looking at the red glow in the sky. One time I went out I saw the red and blue flashing lights in the near distance going back and forth along the road. I realised that the Rural Fire Service volunteers were doing a back burn along the road which would protect the houses along my road if the fire came our way.

fire2_smoke_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

The next morning I decided to go and check on what had happened over night and make sure that things were safe. I also wanted to check on the old road marker on the old road that went from Grafton to Glen Innes on the tablelands. This has been there for many a year and being made of wood it is susceptible to burning. Every now and then I go over to the marker and make sure there isn’t any sticks or leaves against it.

fire_old_road_marker_smoke_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

While I was there I heard a rustle in the leaves and a skink scuttled past. A bush fire survivour.

fire_skink_smoke_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

Some old tree stumps have seen many a fire and this one has survived another.

fire_old_tree_smoke_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

While I was walking about I could hear trees dropping in the bush. Even what appears to be strong healthy trees can be felled by fire.

fire_tree_smoke_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

Further along the road the fire was blazing away on logs

fire1_smoke_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

I heard a vehicle come along the road and a Rural Fire Service 4WD came along. I think they noticed the logs still burning and hoped that they would send a crew to extinguish the flames.

car_rural_fire_service_smoke_fire_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

That afternoon the smoke had become thicker, the helicopters were still buzzing in the air. This photo was at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Taken with my phone.

sun3_clouds_smoke_fire_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

Another sleepless night as I kept an eye on the glow through the trees every now and then. The wind had dropped thankfully so I hoped the fire crews would be able to get ahead of the fire. The next morning there was still smoke in the atmosphere, helicopters constantly fly around but the wind wasn’t as strong as the past two days.

fire_smoke_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

That afternoon it looked like clouds were building sending the promise of rain. This was the sky at 3 o’clock that afternoon.

sun1_clouds_smoke_fire_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

The sun was obscured by the smoke and clouds and burned a dull orange.

sun2_clouds_smoke_fire_named_home_jackadgery_oct 2019

Today, Friday, the morning started with light showers. By 1pm there was 1/2ml in my rain gauge and the helicopters started flying again. They stopped at around 4pm. At about 8pm there was a heavy down pour of rain so hopefully all will be well in the morning. So far the fire has burnt 2209 hectares

Thank you to all those people in the Rural Fire Service and other volunteers who have been working hard to ensure our little street was safe from fires.
I know what they have been through as I was a RFS volunteer years ago. At one stage the Deputy Captain of our local brigade and spent quite a number of days on the fire line in the heat and smoke. It is definitely a job for younger fitter people than me.

Screenshot_2019-10-11 Fires Near Me(1)

My place is to the right of the “y” in Jackadgery

Tree Art

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Tree Art
The roots of a Strangler Fig191011_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_tree_art_fig
Insect made patterns on a Scribbly Gum191011_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_tree_art_bark_scribbly
In the bush, someone is always watching191011_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_tree_art_bark_spotted_gum
Spiders help make tree art191011_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_tree_art_bark_web

Wonderful zigzag patterns
191011_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_tree_art_wood_pattern

Getting in close
191011_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_tree_art_bark_spotted_gum_close
The wondrous colours revealed when the bark strips off180921_blog challenge_blackandwhite_trees_forest gums_orange_close
and of course I had to revisit my own shadow tree art190712_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_shadows_tree_me1

 

Secret

Debbies quotation inspired image photo challenge

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know. “                Diane Arbus

I was in a quandary of which photo should I use. I quite like taking photos that aren’t quite right or in focus just to see the resulting image. The photo Debbie used set me on this path so for this post, I am using multiple images as I cannot decide on which one fits the best.

This was my first idea
191009_blog_challenge_quote_photo_tells_sign_and
But when I was looking for the above image I found this taken on the same day191009_blog_challenge_quote_photo_tells_light_sun
Which made me think of some other images like this one170615_blog challenge_focus_leaf shadows
and this one180614_blog challenge_light_water drops

Perhaps I should have stopped at one as the photo challenge is quotation inspired IMAGE

What do you think? Should I have stopped at one? What is your interpretation of the images?

 

 

Filling the frame

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66: Filling the Frame

So many to pick from. So a taste of birds, flowers, objects and animals

kookaburra17_home_bush_close_11082012

 

torinia_purple yellow flower6_close_name_jan 2011

 

gun barrell_close_lismore_named_june 201

 

hippiastrum02_close_home_named_oct 2014

 

seagull01_close_ballina_named_feb 2014

 

1712_standby08_blog challenge_squaresky_sunset

 

butcher bird_banora pint_close_named_august 2014

 

fig bird

 

190811_blog_challenge_profile_sculpture_face_mueck

 

carpet snake01_home_named_jan 2014

 

180504_black and white_close ups_moon

This is September 2019

What a month September was. A month of fear of fires, another month of not much rain, watching the dam level drop and not being able to water the garden with the last bit of water in case I needed the water in case a fire appeared. The fires were not close, over 40kms away from my place but the sky and atmosphere was choked with smoke. A few rainfalls during the month helped alleviate my concerns, topped up my water tanks so I have enough water for my household needs and I have been watering the pot plants around the verandahs and in the house with the tank water. I also use this water to put in the various bird baths around the house as well as other water containers for the animals that may pop in and need a drink.

The downside is I am watching a lot of my garden die. Some palms that provide lovely shade for my house have already lost their tops and the others are struggling. Most of the garden is Australian native plants and some, like the lilli pillis are not looking all that flash. The Wallabies and Possums are also eating some of the garden plants so I may have to put fences around gardens so the new shoots appearing now the weather is warming don’t get nibbled.

There are a few photos to get through, so maybe a cup of tea, coffee or glass of wine or beer, depending when you are reading, Sit back and I hope you enjoy a scroll through my September.

I have found a few photogenic animals on my travels. The horses have already had their post and some others have appeared already as well but I have to put this fluffy Donkey in again.
donky_furry_named_lismore_sept 2019
I love going past the dairy and seeing these beautiful cows.cow_dairy_named_kyogle_sept 2019
It is never good to see one of these ants on the verandah. Their bite is quite painful for such a small insect.ant_verandah_named_caniaba_sept 2019
I do enjoy finding a spiders web in the right light.spider_web_small_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The start of Spring has a few butterflies appearing. The Caper White Butterflies are migratory and this one is one of the first to arrive.butterfly_caper_white_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Meadow Argus are enjoying the early Spring flowers on the Pittosporum. butterfly_meadow_argus_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019
The Stingless Native Bees certainly loved the Rocket flowers.bee_stingless_native_flower_rocket_named_caniaba_sept_2019
As did the honey bees.bee_flower_rocket_named_caniaba_sept_2019
Flies are pollinators as well. This one was in a nursery we went to in Byron Bay. There were lots of other insects on the flowers too.fly_insect_flower_nursery_named_byron_bay_sept 2019
Saw this amazing flower but forgot to write down the name, sorry.flower_petals_nursery_named_byron_bay_sept 2019
The Cacti were in bloom as well.flower_pink_cacti_nursery_named_byron_bay_sept 2019
Yes it is a bud, a very weird hairy bud. Can you guess what flower may appear from this in my besties garden?poppy_flower_bud_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The yellow Poppy enjoyed the sunshine.flower_poppy_yellow_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Here is the hairy buds flower, a red Poppy.flower_poppy_red_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Spring brings out the Begonia flowersflower_begonia_verandah_named_caniaba_sept 2019
And the Bottlebrush are starting to look fabulous at my besties but mine are having a hard time and the bushes haven’t looked like flowering yet.bottlebrush_flower_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Her Roses are looking wonderful. This one is a Double Delight just opening.flower_rose_double_delight1_named_caniaba_sept 2019
This Double Delight is open showing lovely delicate colours.flower_rose_double_delight2_named_caniaba_sept 2019
My White Fig tree is struggling a bit in the dry weather. The figs often drop their leaves at this time of year. The ground is covered in the yellow and orange leaves.leaves_white_fig_colours_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019
It also likes to show its true Aussie colours of Green and Goldleaves_white_fig_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019

There are lots of birds around at the moment too. The Red-browed Firetails are cruising the grass eating the seeds
red_browed_firetail_finch_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The Straw-necked Ibis are also wandering about looking for grubs in the paddocks.straw-necked ibis_ named_caniaba_sept 2019
I have a few Australian Ravens who have a walk about the garden looking for snacks.australian_raven_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019

We saw some Chestnut-breasted Mannikins down the road. They must have followed us home as later on I saw around 20 to 30 sitting in the fence.
chestnut_brewasted_mannikins_fence_named_caniaba_sept_2019
The King Parrots are enjoying the last of the seeds in the Leopard Tree.king_parrot_garden_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019

The Mistletoe Bird has wonderful red colours.
mistletoe_bird_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Remember the Willie Wagtails nest that was destroyed by something a month or so ago? Well they found a safe place and have raised three chicks. Only a mother could love a baby like this.willie_wagtail_chick_nest_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The Welcome Swallows have four chicks in two nests at my besties under the verandah. They are always hungry.welcome_swallows_chicks_feeding_named_caniaba_sept_2019
Some years, Welcome Swallows have two nestings. Here comes another feather to line the nest for the next lot of babies.welcome swallow_feather_nest_named_caniaba_sept 2019

 

The Restless Flycatchers like to patrol the fence lines in the morning.satin_flycatcher_fence_named_caniaba_sept 2019
As the season was so bad I felt sorry for the birds and put a container of food out every now and then. The Currawongs tended to dominate but one morning a small flock of Satin Bowerbirds turned up. I have never seen so many bower birds together. These are females and juveniles. The male sat by and kept watch from a nearby branch.satin_bowerbirds_verandah_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019
A lot of the birds at my place are not hanging around the house as there isn’t much food in the garden. Normally the grevilleas are full of flowers but a lack of rain has seen a reduced number of grevillea flowers. There are a lot of birds down the lower part of my property at the waterhole. A Yellow-faced Honeyeater and a White-throated Honeyeater enjoy a drink together.waterhole_drinking_yellow_faced_honeyeater_white_throated_honeyeater_named_home_jackadgery_sept 2019
The little Striated Honeyeater just jumped straight into the bird bath.striated_thornbill_bird_bath_diving_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Whereas the White-throated Honeyeater just dived straight in.white-throated honeyeater_bird_bath_diving_named_caniaba_sept 2019
This is the first time I have seen a Little Friarbird and a Noisy Friarbird together.friarbirds_noisy_little_bird_bath_named_caniaba_sept 2019
A female Olive-backed Oriel came to the bird bath for the first time at my besties.olive-backed oriel_female_bird_bath_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The Male shows why they are Olive-backed Oriels.olive-backed oriel_back_bird_bath_named_caniaba_sept 2019
He doesn’t look to pleased to see me with my camera does he?olive-backed oriel_looking_bird_bath_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Everyone like the Australian Raven skipping down the hill last month. How about a Silver Gull dancing? gull_dance_named_brunswick_heads_sept 2019
AS I said, the sky was been choked with smoke from the fires. I couldn’t quite capture the red sun at sunset one afternoonsun_red_named_jackadgery_sept 2019
Other sunsets were quite orange.sunset_red_named_caniaba_sept 2019
or a blaze of yellow!sunset_fires_named_caniaba_sept 2019
The smoke mixed with cloud made for some interesting shapes and spooky atmosphere.sunset_fires_orange_named_caniaba_sept 2019
Well here we are at the end. The grass seed heads made a lovely part of the afternoons walk. When I looked at the photo on the computer screen, there was, I think, a Grasshopper winging away for the night.sunsegrass_seeds_insect_named_caniaba_sept 2019

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my September.

Also a contribution to Su’s The Changing Seasons