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Posted January 13th, 2013 - 3:46 pm by from Ottawa, Canada (Permalink)
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Posted January 13th, 2013 - 10:06 pm from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted January 14th, 2013 - 12:36 am by from New York, United States (Permalink)
thinking of Virginia and hoping she and her family are fine.

Judy

Posted January 14th, 2013 - 12:52 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted January 14th, 2013 - 12:58 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
hello, all, and thank you especially, george and david, for your concern.
no, i was not burnt out, this time. cs decided i posted from melbourne, but i was here. did not post because i was simply exhausted by heat, fire warnings, getting ready to flee,helping older community members pack up and to prepare for evacuation and so on.

we had two large fires raging for days, close to daylesford. then, a few days back, emergency warnings on radio and tv to be on high alert, fire danger rated the highest(catastrophic, they rightly named it).
there were fire engines racing through town with sirens blaring, helicopters with water spouts, wheeling overhead.
people taking their children and pets everywhere, in the terrible heat, because they did not know whether their house would be there on their return.

we thought that was it and sat, staring at the tv images of fires so close by and coming towards us.
it was 39 deg (about 102 f)there was a wild wind blowing and we were ready to flee. the closest blaze was only about 10km away. the wind can blow cinders further than that. all the grass here is now brown and crunchy, the woods are as described above, spotfires can spring up everywhere, anytime.

everyone with half a brain had their cars packed, filled up and ready. i have my camping gear in the car permanently now, and emergency supplies, as i have to flee with dog and cat, so hotels or motels are out. i also, like most people here, have valuables packed, ready to grab and run.

and then, suddenly, the wind stopped and the next day, temperatures fell, the little town breathed out and we had gotten away again, at least for now.
rains were promised for yesterday but did not come.
it is so, so dry.

temperatures are going up again, the next few days. it is not over, by far, but we have a respite.

sure, i could just go and stay in melbourne, at my daughter's house. most people here have relatives away and could just go. but what would happen with our community here, if we just upped and ran, every time there is danger?
to be prepared and ready and know what to do, but only if it becomes unavoidable, that is the key to survive in the bush. otherwise we stay put because this is our home and we like it very much.

fires, floods, draughts are the flip side of the coin of wonderful australia. can't be changed, must be endured, it has been like that long before humans started to populate the continent. the good bits of living here, though, far outweigh the dangers.

thanks for thinking about us and worrying
exhausted roo
:>)

Posted January 14th, 2013 - 3:25 am from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted January 14th, 2013 - 4:15 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted January 14th, 2013 - 5:37 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted January 14th, 2013 - 6:45 am from Portland, United States
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Posted January 14th, 2013 - 6:59 am from Invercargill, New Zealand
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Posted January 14th, 2013 - 11:54 pm from Seattle, United States
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Posted January 15th, 2013 - 12:36 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
thank you again, everyone, for your concern.
the danger down here in victoria has decreased, for now. we are not looking forward to thursday, though, 38+ (100 f)predicted and no rain. we are all staying packed and prepared.

in other parts of oz there are fires in many places.
one, in nsw, has already burnt out 40.000hectares. many homes and sheds destroyed.
that there are no human lives lost is due to the oz population's understanding of bushfire conditions and, of course, the excellent training of our brave firefighters, most of them volunteers.

tasmania, in shock after the recent devastation, has also had a little earthquake, and in western australia they had a cyclone up north and another very bad storm further down the coast.

has anyone heard from homeless hans? he said, a few weeks ago on facebook, that he was returning to tassie to paint. he parks in the wilderness with his van, so...
i will try contact again via f.

i shall keep you posted, sorry to have worried you, with silence.

and cadence, dear, you sounded just like my mother, when she was worried about me, which was often. sweet.

yes, wallydog is fine and so is belvedere, the cat. they would rather like to shed their furry coats, i think. with the dog, a bucket of water now and then, or jumping into the lake, helps.
bello, in his long, pitch black fur, on the other hand, climbs a low branch of the giant twin weeping willows at the bottom of my garden. there he spreads out, paws and tail dangling, green eyes blinking, like a little black panther, and watches the various parrots and kurrrawongs gambolling around him. they screech and tease, knowing it is too hot for the old tomcat to move a muscle. only his long whiskers and the tip of his tail twitch, now and then.
one day, one day...

off to pull horrible, dry scrubby things out of my garden, before it gets too hot, again.
virginia





Posted January 15th, 2013 - 12:51 am from Portland, United States
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Posted January 15th, 2013 - 6:57 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted January 17th, 2013 - 12:16 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
quick update, otherwise mamma cadence...well, you know

no immediate danger here, today. we are expecting 34 deg (90 f). all the grass is brown and crunches underfoot. i'm going round my plants morning and night, with buckets of water. no rain for weeks now.

tomorrow, we are expecting 42 deg (106?)and a thunderstorm, and that is scary. don't want any lightening in the present conditions. hope it will be a wet storm, a bit of rain would be very, very welcome.

the extreme heat tomorrow alone can cause eucalyptus trees to combust spontaneously, they need no help. the trees' volatile eucalyptus oil, sent up from the roots to protect the leaves, bursts into flame when it gets too hot. (i think there is a utube image, if you want to see it.)
all the forests surrounding daylesford are mainly eucalyptus.

so, we will all be very watchful and prepared, especially tomorrow.

i'll keep you posted
hot, hot, roo
in the sweltering bush
:>)

Posted January 17th, 2013 - 1:41 am from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted January 17th, 2013 - 1:53 am by from Langley, United States (Permalink)
Dearest Roo

Your post reads like a novel, and I can't imagine how horrible it must be there.

Thank you for keeping in touch with all of us.

You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Cherie


Posted January 18th, 2013 - 6:32 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
thank you for your concern, dear cherie, canuk and all that are thinking of us.

the novel [cute!:>)] continues.

t'was a hot, hot, noisy night, in daylesford, where we are used to such whisper quiet, that the star light seems to have a tune.
all the mutts around were restless. screeching parrot flocks, scared up in the middle of the night, wheeled above the cottage. were they fleeing smoke? doors of neighbours, banging, checking their yards for spot fires. whining kids, too hot to sleep.
i was tossing and turning, in my bed, behind the white mosquito veils. they billowed about me as the little fan kept whirring. earplugs were out of the question, what if the fire sirens went off? wet sarong as night wear, still uncomfortable, up again, cold drink, turn on computer, local radio, check fire reports. back to bed. light off. no sleep. light on to read my book. sore eyes, headache. sleeping tablet or a glass of something? no, might have to drive away. checking horizons at sunrise. no smoke.
things don't frighten so, in daylight.
back to bed, a few hours of sleep, finally.

shaped that text specially, for cherie...

so, yeah, bad night.
belvedere the cat left my bed early, disapproving of all the commotion. he went and draped himself atop the futon in the guestroom. spread out so widely that he looked like a game hunter's trophy, with the head left on.

wallydog plonked his 45 kg of german shepardness on the bare floor boards, in the draft between the open front and back doors. clever boy.

the heat predicted for today came early, yesterday afternoon. 41 degrees (106 f)on my verandah, in the shade.
the thunderstorm hasn't been yet and no sign of rain.
but it is cooler today, in the highlands, 32 so far.

up in nsw and sydney, they are really getting it. 46 (112 f?) or so, the highest ever recorded, in the western suburbs.
hope it is better where you are, near the sea, david. let us know.

in south eastern victoria, near heyfield, there are large fires raging. many properties have burnt out, some families were trapped and rescued, just in time, by fire fighters.
the farmers and graziers there are helping each other to drive their horses and cattle away from the fires. the animals are terrified, it is a dangerous and exhausting job to do, in the heat and dust.
such strength and compassion. let's hope they succeed and stay safe.

the landlord of the heyfield pub reckons his hotel is built of triple brick, has a generator, buckets and hoses, so he is staying put. someone has to stay open to feed and give drinks to the fire fighters, he says. 40 locals have holed up with him, to defend their local watering hole. well, 'watering' would be a bit on the metaphorical side, in this case, i'd say. probably better stuff on tap.
so australian, that. may they come through it all, unharmed. at least we'll know they won't be thirsty.

what's up with the other aussies here? are you all safe?
speak up.

signing off, hoping for rain, relatively safe for now.
must go and soak my vegies.
at least no water restrictions this year.

roo:>)





Posted January 18th, 2013 - 6:47 am from Victoria, Canada
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Posted January 18th, 2013 - 8:06 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted January 18th, 2013 - 8:13 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted January 19th, 2013 - 12:46 am from Ottawa, Canada
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Posted January 19th, 2013 - 1:56 am from Portland, United States
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Posted January 19th, 2013 - 2:00 am by from New York, United States (Permalink)
114F WOW that's hot! Thinking of you and you rnduring these extreme weather conditions. Hang in there!

J

Posted January 19th, 2013 - 2:15 am from Portland, United States
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Posted January 19th, 2013 - 6:38 am from Victoria, Canada
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Posted January 19th, 2013 - 8:49 am from Sydney, Australia
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Posted January 20th, 2013 - 2:32 am by from Daylesford, Australia (Permalink)
thank you, all, i am glad you enjoy my musings
two days of cooler (well, low 30s) weather and all is better, round here.

the pub in heyfield,full of braves, is still standing and replenishing the beer cellar, now the road has re-opened. the fires are contained in victoria. they are still trying to put out the big one in nsw, but there seems to be no immediate danger, to people and property, right now.

that does not mean we are safe. if you could see the dryness out there, you could easily imagine what one little spark would do.
broken, discarded glass can act as a lens and a sunbeam can start a fire through it. sparks from powertools that people use to cut firebreaks, cigarette buts, camp fires...and then there are pyromaniacs.
best not think about it.

no rain in sight, for the coming week or two, at least.
the local hippies, together with the witches' coven and other harmless nutters are planning rain dance ceremonies. up on mount franklin, an extinct volcano and sacred aboriginal site, about 15 mins away, the next full moon night. (there is a free camp ground with water tanks, toilets and a creek nearby)

seeing i have camping gear permanently installed in my car boot already, wally and i might go and join them, just for the fun. and to keep an eye on the camp fires, if there is no total fire ban that day.

there will be drums, flutes, fiddles, banjos, guitars, didgeridoos, clapping sticks, you name it.
wild dancing, chanting, weird hairstyles, feathers, painted faces and bodies, outlandish attires or nudity (not me!)passing round of strange waterpipes, and other nonsense.

i think i shall bring my trusted camp cauldron, full of gulasch and a bucket of noodles, a dozen bowls and spoons. makes me very popular. or potato salad and cold roast chickens, we'll see how hot it is, that night..

off to some friends' farmlet. the raspberries are ripe and i can pick as many as i like. yummy. my wally, and their maremma dog eat the lower ones, gourmet puppies!

cooler roo:>)








Posted January 20th, 2013 - 11:02 pm from Ottawa, Canada
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