Southern Hemisphere Spring Equinox September 23 2014

Oh joy upon joy. From Tuesday and for the  six months following, the sun will be above the horizon longer than it will be below. I do love having more time to do outdoor activities. As I have got older, I have allowed myself to fill these hours with tasks; tasks that I do enjoy but also must be done. Sometimes they feel like a millstone but for the most part they are still fun. I live, with my partner and son, on 20 acres of mostly pasture, and until Feb 9 2014 hundreds of trees. On that dreadful day, a fire started in long grass and bush adjacent to a freeway rest area three kilometers NNW of here. That day a raging NNW wind was blowing and it was close to 40°C. We were not home but our 2 little dogs, four rabbits and several chickens were.rogie and mayaThe fire moved very quickly and was on to several properties before the local fire volunteers (CFA) could do anything about it. Thankfully the CFA were here to stop the house burning down (it did catch) and they saved the dogs and bunnies. One chicken survived. I am not going to add many fire photos. We have been much luckier than others.house 2014barn panarama small backyard house from air 1

In the days after we lived in this black hell; but that’s when we noticed the very beautiful people who helped us get through those days. All of our family and friends were fantastic but I would like to give a special mention to Sally from Numurkah who badgered local supermarkets for goods like bottled water (our water was tainted) and cleaning goods – All things we all of a sudden needed a lot of. She slept on a couch in a local house and worked tirelessly with others to provide this generosity. There were fires in Numurkah also. I asked her why she wasn’t there. She said that in the ‘real country’ there were plenty like her doing the same thing. She was needed here where that spirit was lacking. Unfortunately that lack of spirit was evident in some of our neighbours’ behaviour. But most were good. 7 1/2 months down the track we are recovering well. Gum trees are growing back. Exotics do not recover well from fire. new growth 5 new growth 6Things are getting back on track now; only seven months after the fire. This fire was a grass fire, not a bushfire like Black Saturday in 2009. Many victims of that fire are still recovering 5 years later. The land around now looks like thisdistant view smalland we have recently had this new shed builtnew shed 1

Rainfall this year, locally, has been very low. This year the 2nd lowest in 15 years of measuring at my place. In a few days it may have the dubious honour of being the lowest.rainfall 2014

So the coming of the spring equinox has a touch of foreboding mixed with it. We’ll be OK; we got burnt last year. But I worry for others who are not aware of this threat.

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14 thoughts on “Southern Hemisphere Spring Equinox September 23 2014

  1. Good to see the native gums re-shooting and the green pasture. I noticed your shed as we passed by on the road on our return trip from the Murray. Things are improving. and yes, the weather certainly helps too.

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  2. We live in “tornado alley” and I am not a native to this kind of weather threat, but, what scares the bejeezus out of me more than tornadoes are fires, of which we have way too many. Glad that you and yours survived (sorry for some chickens) and that life is returning. The photos are incredible! 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for comments. 🙂 Tornadoes are unusual in Australia but we did have a small one 100 or so miles north of where I live earlier this year. Fire is so scary; I am so glad we weren’t home. Up to the point that they were rescued, the dogs had no idea. The white dog burnt her pads and would not walk on the black earth after that. Fire events are becoming more common in Australia for many reasons. We have friends who live near Colorado Springs. So I know you are all dealing with fires as well.

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  3. Wow! That had to have been really scary! As I was reading this post, I was afraid you were going to say you lost your dogs and bunnies (noooo – the bunnies!!!). Such a relief to hear that your house and pets survived – except for the chickens 😦

    Nature is remarkably resilient. I’ve noticed areas that have been destroyed by forest fire here, seem to come back strong as ever … although it does take time. Glad to hear that your property started to show signs of life after only a few months.

    I found the graph of rainfall rather shocking. There is so much variation from year to year.

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    • We go through ups and downs. Our garden was destroyed and we are now 17 years older than last time we created it, with a desire to do different things with our spare time, rather than recreate gardens. This winter we will do more mass planting and I may find some time to build a chook house and pen. There still remains about 50 eight metre high cyprus pines to be felled and burned. But I see a light at the end of the tunnel and, yes, we were very lucky. Thanks for reading the story.

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      • Ah it’s just late Autumn blues. It’s not all that bad. I might just pay someone to knock ’em all down. There’s one less job and I am looking forward to watching the new garden grow. I can see what Jo went through when we first came. It seemed endless and I was all full of enthusiasm. Jo said recently”as long we get to Europe next year, I don’t care” Cheers. M

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