today, after a hot and humid morning, koel birds were calling their plaintiff sounds, king parrots were confronting intruders, a frog croaked, I thought ,
Then a thunderstorm dumped 5 minutes of heavy rain. Early afternoon.
I sat on the verandah, thought of the haiku, each rain drop equals a grain of rice, these rain drops equal a corn cob, they were so large.
I went out, cleared my gutters and then came back to watch the spiral of steam to my north as smoldering areas were being doused. steam which yesterday was smoke.
4 weeks of being alert………one big mistake I made was when the spot fires crept closer to the hen house, I topped what I thought was the water tank on the fire pump. Instead I topped the fuel tank up with water. Admittedly it was one in the morning and I hadn’t slept.
Good lesson though. I studied the pumps manual, drained the fuel tank out and learnt what was what on the pump. The man I talked to from where the pump was purchased told me it often happens with novices.
Ventured to town yesterday for a quick provision shop. Smoke cleared so I was prepared to be shocked by the fires path out of the valley. Large tracts of grasslands burnt to the soil, trees fallen and fried still standing. Cliffs denuded of all growth.
Our rain forest remnant is dying.
My first venture on this property came across fire tracks through the forest and igniting where there was a fallen tree, like sally wattles which are so heavy when they fall they bring everything down around it, Hence a very dry dry stack saw a football field size burn out. 200 metres from my cabin.
I was relieved I never saw these flames from my back door, a certain moment of panic would have resulted.
A slashed and mulched lantana valley was completely burnt out, to an edge of green bracken and polia which did not burn. Tree ferns which felt the flames on their trunks seemed to have survived too.
odd, every time I have taken the camera out it has not worked. maybe just as well, the vision is enough.
At last a reasonable sleep with 2 wake ups. Yesterday was 34 degrees but not windy which was a relief.
The moon confused me at 1 am as it came over the smokey cliffs to my north. A red intense spiral which I thought was flames. Dark red and shrouded in smoke. I watched the moon then, as it slowly emerged.
Waiting and watching back into routine. Sweeping the millions of leaves still falling and watering the few vegetables that are surviving. Finger limes abundant and paw paws still ripening.
Tomorrow another super hot and windy day.
So many people to thank for their daily support. Hannah, Belinda and many more.
Ben came this morning and swept leaves and brought me ice cream. Yum. Thank you Ben.
Sunday night 15 minutes of heavy rain after my 9th day of bush fire siege. The relief I felt was over whelming almost.
The power, surprisingly came on Saturday night. TV broke the waiting and watching which has been a 24 hour reality.
Spot fires crept closer down through the newer rain forest behind the hen house and humpy. At night I could see the spot fires glow so I carried watering cans to put them out. Sleep I grabbed but usually for an hour at a time. Smoke is so thick at times I can not see where the fire is coming from.
Thanks to Margaret East for securing me a double 35 metre fire pump which is anchored into my 20 000 litre fire tank. Once installed, I had to practice how to start the pump, machinery not my forte, but once secured I felt a lot more ready to defend the cabin and humpy.
My hens were evacuated last week, that was a relief.
I will not venture far from my gardens. I do not want to see the new reality at my boundary with Night Cap National Park. I hear trees crashing down the cliffs and boulders falling.
There has been amazing support. Those of us who chose to stay and defend got to know more of each other.
Food I have and the garden still provides silver beet , kale and paw paws.