Fire – my story

Debbies One Word Sunday: Fire

What a topic to pick Debbie!!! This is so much my life at the moment and has been for over four week. I have already posted some stories of the fires that surround me at the moment.
Some days the smoke is so thick, I cannot see more that 30 meters. Those days are spent inside. My chest is starting to hurt, my eyes are constantly sore and yesterday I had a sore throat.
The heat of the day doesn’t help either. One day last week it was 40C which isn’t usual for this time of year. Most days last week were in the low to high 30’s. The high daily temperatures combined with strong winds that seem to turn up most days makes for uncomfortable living.
Over the past two years the amount of rainfall has been a quarter of what I usually have here. This big dry has also exacerbated conditions. When there is a lack of rain, the eucalypt trees drop leaves and branches as a survival technique. The forest floor has a lot of leaves and dead wood. Normally that isn’t a problem as the high rainfall helps break down the vegetation into humus which is full of microscopic life as well as insects and worms.
The ground is dry under the leaves and is being baked by the hot sun. The UV rating today was extreme.
Together with my neighbours, we worked with the Rural Fire Service (RFS) to have a hazard reduction burn on our properties this Winter to prepare for Summer as the RFS thought that there would be a dangerous fire season this year. This Winter wasn’t the time to burn as we didn’t have many cool days and conditions weren’t right as assessed by the RFS.
The fire season is usually late November to March. The first fire to threaten our small community of properties happened early October. This post is a quick story of that Fire
An earlier fire story the month before but didn’t really affect my place.
The fires continued to burn this fire in early November started more concern for me and my property and has been continually burning since then.
Every afternoon when the westerly wind blows up I am scanning the skies for signs of smoke and as the day darkens I am  on watch in case embers are blowing ahead of the fire. The fire is about 15kms away.
I have my car packed with things I want to save and other stuff is handy to grab if the call comes through to evacuate.
I do live in the bush, or forest for my overseas readers/friends, I am aware of the potential hazards. Because it has been so dry my dam I use to water the garden hasn’t filled and there is a small amount of water that I am saving in case I need it to put out small fires.
My garden only gets small amounts of water to keep some of it alive. The Bangalow palms whose fronds shade the house and keep it cool in Summer are either dead or dying. Of the 10 or so in the gardens around the house, two are still alive. The small Lilli Pilli trees are dying, other Australian native plants are struggling. Every bit of water gets recycled and used to keep plants alive.
The sky has been so eerie and the days don’t have shadows or sunlight, just a orange glow.
The only thing to release me from this awful situation is rain. So far these fires statewide have burnt over one million hectares, only 4 deaths so far thank goodness, over 350 homes burnt and thousands of out-building burnt. I have friends who have lost their homes.
As I write at 6pm Sunday, I am watching the trees sway about in the wind dropping more leaves. There has been rain in the area, mainly to the south and north, but so far not here.
I am hoping……
PS   Don’t worry about me I am safe and prepared. I have been here for quite a while and have been through many fires before. I used to be the local RFS Deputy Captain and have a good knowledge of fire behaviour on my property and neighbouring properties.

 

 

 

Waiting

The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72: Waiting

What was that that flashed past the kitchen window? A flash of white. Quick………grab the camera and outside into the garden.

Yes……it’s a Caper White Butterfly coming to feed on the Pentas flowers.

Get set……..focus…….wait for that butterfly in flight photo opportunity…..wait and wait
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It’s a flutter of wings……….will she fly this time…….or just reposition to get more nectar 191117_blog_challenge_waiting_caper white butterfly2
Don’t get distracted……….ohhh look……..a dragonfly191117_blog_challenge_waiting_dragonfly
Oh bugger…….she’s off this bunch of flowers…….where will she settle next?191117_blog_challenge_waiting_caper white butterfly3
Look…….over there……quick get focused as she is fluttering her wings again….maybe this time she will fly191117_blog_challenge_waiting_caper white butterfly4
Hurrah…….success…..it did take a bit of time waiting191117_blog_challenge_waiting_caper white butterfly5

Fridays Follies Season 5 Episode 7 – you were warned

Hang on to your sides as it is time for Fridays Follies

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It is on a sad note I write this post. This is the second last sign post for Fridays Follies as Jason has decided that the next weeks Fridays Follies will be the last. So prepare yourselves for an avalanche of signs I have found for Fridays Follies next week.

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The Architect

The Ragtag Daily Prompt Thursday: Architect

This world has many examples of great architecture designed by some of the most inventive and clever people. But not all of the best architects are people! Come and meet one such architect. One who builds from an aged design that has stood the test of time. A place to raise a family. A place that, unlike some of mankinds, is  eco-friendly, is made from all natural materials gathered without the use of hands and transported by mouth. Combined with a bit of “spit” and placed in an exacting way to create a tiny wonder.

Who could create a structure like this?
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Look here she comes now, placing her mud in just the right place
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Making sure it is in place and secure
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Then inspect the interior  smoothing out an lumps or bumps191115_blog_challenge_architect_wasp_nest4

Isn’t she one of the best architects?
The Australian Hornet is one of the group known as potter wasps. They are a solitary insect and feed on flower nectar – pollinator – and hunt caterpillars – good for your garden – which quite often end up in the mud house for their larvae to feed on once they hatch. The caterpillars and other grubs are not killed but are comatose and the Hornets larvae consume them live.
They rarely attack people and are not aggressive just big and scary until you get to know them.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Starting with the letter K or L

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Starting with the letter K or L

More Australian animals in black & white

Lizard – Bearded Dragon
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Eastern Grey Kangaroo and her Joey191115_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_letterK_kangaroo
A fluffy eared Koala191115_blog_challenge_blackandwhite_letterK_koala