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.

 

 

 

I love to splash

“Its OK, come on in my brother, I won’t splash you”
“That’s what you said last time”
“Come on, it’s a hot day and this bird bath is lovely and cool”
“Alright I will. Just don’t splash me”

rainbow_lorikeets_bird_bath_fun_splash1_named_caniaba_oct 2019
“What was that? Are you splashing?”
“Oh no I’m not, it’s just my tail trying to get a bit wetter”
rainbow_lorikeets_bird_bath_fun_splash2_named_caniaba_oct 2019

“Hey watch out, you’re getting water in my face. You know I don’t like that!”
rainbow_lorikeets_bird_bath_fun_splash3_named_caniaba_oct 2019
“Now you really are getting water everywhere.” “Look at it dripping off my beak!” “You can’t help yourself can you”rainbow_lorikeets_bird_bath_fun_splash4_named_caniaba_oct 2019
“Oh for Petes sake, will you just stop splashing me.” “The water is cold” rainbow_lorikeets_bird_bath_fun_splash5_named_caniaba_oct 2019
“He he he he….”rainbow_lorikeets_bird_bath_fun_splash6_named_caniaba_oct 2019

“Hey, where are you going, it was just a bit of fun wasn’t it.” “It was only water”
rainbow_lorikeets_bird_bath_fun_splash7_named_caniaba_oct 2019
“I love it when my brother looks like this…..ha ha ha”rainbow_lorikeets_bird_bath_fun_splash8_named_caniaba_oct 2019

One day in the country

The day was a pleasant drive in the countryside with my bestie and her friend. We went to a nearby town, Kyogle, went to the farmers market, bought a raffle ticket from the local Scout group (I didn’t win the produce which was the prize), went to the art gallery, roamed about town dropping into shops and chatting with the people, finally having lunch at a charming cottage restaurant watching the world go by.

On the way home I wanted to get some photos of the dairy cows that were in a paddock close to the road. Across the road were the calves, chickens and general farm animals scattered among the usual farm machinery and stuff that farms tend to accumulate.

On the hill were a couple of horses and this is what unfolded.

It looked like a pleasant greeting. I thought I would try to capture this tender scene between two horses in the same paddock. So sweet as the came together nose to nose.
190923_blog_challenge_horse_fight1
And then with a flick of the head, a bit of artful maneuvering and the attempt at a playful nip or two.190923_blog_challenge_horse_fight2
There seemed to be an air of non-reciprocation and qualm 190923_blog_challenge_horse_fight3
The subtle moving about and quick motion, the rearing and dust being kicked up hinted that all was not friendly.190923_blog_challenge_horse_fight4
Suddenly a quick gallop around the paddock side by side which I thought was letting off steam so all would be well.190923_blog_challenge_horse_fight5

 

But no. They were back at it again in a sudden switch of mood to indicate that all was not well190923_blog_challenge_horse_fight6

I had had enough of this drama in the farm paddock and went back to the gentle dairy cows.

 

 

This is probably my first multi challenge post
Ragtag Friday: Switch
Ragtag Sunday: Horses
Ragtag Monday: Subtle
Lens Artists #64: Countryside
Daily Word Prompt: Indicate
Daily Word Prompt: Qualm

Being a parent

One day, hearing some calls from birds, the call from a Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike was very plaintive and persistent. Wondering what was going on I wandered outside and here is what I found.

“Boy, it’s a relief to get away from the kid”
black_faced_cuckoo_shrike1_named_caniaba_march 2019
“Hey Mum, what are you doing?”
“Do we have to sit here long?”
“I’m hungry”
“What are we going to do today?”
“I’m hungry.”
“Do you know where Dad went?”
“What’s that flower over there?”
“I’m hungry.”
black_faced_cuckoo_shrike2_named_caniaba_march 2019
“Did you tell him I was here?”black_faced_cuckoo_shrike3_named_caniaba_march 2019

“Look! What’s that over there?”
“Can you see it?”
“It could be an insect or something to eat.”
black_faced_cuckoo_shrike4_named_caniaba_march 2019

“Now’s my chance to get away again”
black_faced_cuckoo_shrike5_named_caniaba_march 2019
“Mum, don’t forget me! Where are we going now? Wait up.”black_faced_cuckoo_shrike6_named_caniaba_march 2019

This Is My Post

This is a tale of a fence post, a Spangled Drongo and a Noisy Friarbird  –  as told by the Spangled Drongo.

What started out as a normal day, you know, a bit of flying about, some singing with my mates and looking for insects and other snacks around the place.
I always drop onto this fence post nearly every day. It’s a great perch to see if any insects or bugs are moving about in the garden or on the grass.

As you can see, This is My Post.
spangled drongo_my post1_named_home_oct 2018
A mate was flying past and he said “Hey, can I come for a visit to your post”spangled drongo_my post2_named_home_oct 2018
Sure, but I don’t really like anyone sitting up here on my post.spangled drongo_my post3_named_home_oct 2018

Oh, that’s OK. I’ll just hang on this side if that’s alright with you.
spangled drongo_my post4_named_home_oct 2018

And then, out of the blue, this big ugly bloke decides to sit on MY post. Oi, you. Get off my post
spangled drongo_my post5_named_home_oct 2018

Yeah. Right. get down there. This is my post.
spangled drongo_my post6_named_home_oct 2018

Suddenly, he looks at me and of all things, he pokes his tongue out.
spangled drongo_my post7_named_home_oct 2018

Well, that’s not on. You better get off now.
spangled drongo_my post8_named_home_oct 2018

Oh I see. You want to make a bit of a do about sitting on my post do you?
spangled drongo_my post9_named_home_oct 2018

Cop that buddy. Just get away.
spangled drongo_my post91_named_home_oct 2018

No you don’t. You can’t get back on there. This is my post.
spangled drongo_my post92_named_home_oct 2018

OK you. I don’t want to sit on the ground. I am a bird who likes to sit on posts.
spangled drongo_my post93_named_home_oct 2018

Well I am really afraid buddy. This is MY post
spangled drongo_my post96_named_home_oct 2018

I better be off then. I don’t want to sit on the ground and argue with you and your stupid post. I’m going, see ya.
spangled drongo_my post94_named_home_oct 2018

I’ve had enough of hanging around here. I going as well. I will be back later and sit there. Because, This is My Post
spangled drongo_my post95_named_home_oct 2018

The Witch

The Manic Monday’s 3 Wway Prompt from Laura: Witch – Witchy – Bewitched

181016_blog challenge_ring_moon

One afternoon, I was driving along and on the side of the road was a woman hitchhiking. As I couldn’t let a woman be left standing on the side of the road, I pulled over to the side of the road. She walked towards my car, her hips swaying hypnotising. She leant forward through the open window her dark hair falling through the open window, almost hiding her beautiful face. I asked “Where are you going.” She replied “I am just travelling and would appreciate a lift as far as you are going.”

With that, I said OK and she opened the door and slid into the car, her skirt riding up a bit showing her lovely tanned legs. She turned to me, offering an outstretched hand saying “Thank you, my name is Wendy.” As I took her hand, I couldn’t help but notice the top buttons of her blouse were open revealing a delicious glimpse of her breasts. “My name is Brian,” I said.

We drove along as the night started to fall, we talked about the regular chit chat stuff, the weather, places we had travelled to, family, foods we liked and what we did. I told her of my farm, the animals and the wonderful native bush and Australian animals and birds that surrounded my pace.

I asked Wendy “What do you do?”

She replied “I am a Witch,”

“A Witch!” I said incredulously, looking this quite stunning woman up and down.

“Yes,” Wendy said “I am a Witch”

“You don’t look like a Witch” “I imagine that Witches look a lot like the ones in my story books as a child, you know pointy hats, long pointy noses, warts and a voice that cackles.”

I asked “Do you cast spells and that sort of stuff?”

Wendy replied “Yes I do spells and incantations. Make magic potions to help people with love and cope with their lives.”

I asked “Do you do magic spells like in the folk tales. Like turn people into animals, frogs and that sort of thing?”

She replied “Yes, of course” “That is one of the fun things to do as a Witch.”

I said “That can’t be possible. How can that happen?”

Wendy the looked at me and asked if I wanted a demonstration. I gulped with apprehension.

She then put her hand with long red painted fingernails on my thigh and I turned into a Motel.

The Seeker Part 8

What was that trickling sound I thought I heard……perhaps my thirst was giving to dreams of desire……but I am sure that the trickling sound was real!!

In the lower part of the slope the ground was still stony but many of the rocks were rounded….like rocks that have been rolled about by water. I knelt on the ground on the soft grass and dug my hand between the tufts where it was cooler. Gripping onto a tuft, I gave a hard tug ….nothing!!….it didn’t budge at all.

The ground under the grass was hard and rocky not soft as I had hoped. If I do dig down to see if there is some moisture…..what can I use to dig…the sticks were too crumbly and brittle to be of any use in digging through the hard ground.

I started to try and scrape the ground away from the base of a grass tuft…..it didn’t take long before the skin on my fingers to become sore with small cuts and I had hardly gotten anywhere…..I lay down on the soft grass……the frustration and weariness was getting too much….what do I have to do….why am I on this world…..the sun beat down on my back but the grass was cool on my body and face ….as I drifted off to sleep I was sure that I heard water again.

Water…….I awoke with a thirst…..rolling over, the cool relief on my back was welcomed………looking around I wanted to find some sort of a digging tool….maybe a rock from further up the slope might be suitable as the stones here were too small.

Walking back towards the ridge I hoped I would be lucky and be able to find water….allusive water…..something I desperately need to survive. but what will survival do if I am just to wander this domed world.

I hoped the greenness of the mound would lead to there being water…..water that would sustain me for some time.

I am sure I again heard the sounds of water but not being visible on actually running over the rocks and stony ground must mean that it is somehow flowing underground. How can I get below this hard baked ground to get to the water that keeps this small patch green in a desert landscape alive.

Near the top of the ridge, which is only a few meters high, there is some larger rocks which I could use to dig…..scrambling over the rocks of the scree slope once again to the base of the ridge I found a good sized and appropriately shaped rock that I could use to get below the surface.

I wonder where I was when I heard that trickling sound…….down the slope slipping and sliding as the rocks gave no solid purchase…looking left….looking right….everything looked the same…….down on the edgewhere the tufted grasses came up to meet the bare rocky ground.

I stood….straining to listen to the slightest sound other than the occasional rocks tumble…..nothing….perhaps I should move down to where the grass evens out before abruptly ending to meet the desert once again.

Lifting my stone age implement, I struck the ground between the tufts sending smaller pebbles out of the way…..again…..again….again I hit the ground making a small divot.

Now I could scrape the hole into something bigger as I tired of hitting the hard stony surface…….sweat glistened on my now brown baked skin. I managed to struggle to a point where the small rocks and pebbles changed colour….a deeper colour.

The Seeker Part 7

I was sure the change in colour would indicate that not only the soils changed with some moisture.

The digging was difficult….the ground was so hard but still shards of the hard surface would splinter off sending small pieces flying, occasionally hitting my skin causing small blood spots to appear…..my fingers also were raw and stung with each blow.

The hard surface I have been striking was seemingly becoming softer, also altering in texture and colour.

I wondered what if I was doing was going to lead to my continued existence on the strange domed world.

Once I had a water supply I was sure I could find some level of comfort that would sustain me while I attempted to understand why I find myself on this world.

Who made this dome and why?

Does the dome protect the world or does it exist to contain the world and its strange environment….occasionally the clouds would speed across the sky as if they had an important mission……they must drop moisture somewhere or does it not behave like the weather I was used to or that is within my mind or memory….a memory from where?

My mind wandered trying to remember my past life….thoughts jumbled with nothing rising to the surface that I could hold onto as a definitive memory…..this process was going nowhere, which just added to my frustration.

I continued digging at the bottom of the mound which was becoming much easier…..instead of pounding the ground my rock tool is now being used to scrape the material from the small hole I have made.

The coolness of the ground below the surface was welcomed by my raw fingers….the depression has deepened with the flinty stones giving way to a soil like structure which is quite easy to dig.

Deeper and deeper I scraped and now have a good sized hole but still no water…….the soil felt damp but I am unable to determine if it was moisture….squeezing the soil didn’t change the composition or yield anything, it didn’t form together to make a ball…it just remained as it was when I dug it from the ground.

The level was now quite deep but I have nothing but a pile of stones and dirt….I was sure I heard water moving below the surface before….

 

The Seeker Part 6

I hoped the greenness of the mound would lead to there being water…..water that would sustain me for some time.

I am sure I again heard the sounds of water but not being visible on actually running over the rocks and stony ground must mean that it is somehow flowing underground. How can I get below this hard baked ground to get to the water that keeps this small patch green in a desert landscape alive.

Near the top of the ridge, which is only a few meters high, there is some larger rocks which I could use to dig…..scrambling over the rocks of the scree slope once again to the base of the ridge I found a good sized and appropriately shaped rock that I could use to get below the surface.

I wonder where I was when I heard that trickling sound…….down the slope slipping and sliding as the rocks gave no solid purchase…looking left….looking right….everything looked the same…….down on the edgewhere the tufted grasses came up to meet the bare rocky ground.

I stood….straining to listen to the slightest sound other than the occasional rocks tumble…..nothing….perhaps I should move down to where the grass evens out before abruptly ending to meet the desert once again.

Lifting my stone age implement, I struck the ground between the tufts sending smaller pebbles out of the way…..again…..again….again I hit the ground making a small divot.

Now I could scrape the hole into something bigger as I tired of hitting the hard stony surface…….sweat glistened on my now brown baked skin. I managed to struggle to a point where the small rocks and pebbles changed colour….a deeper colour…