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Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

This is one of my favourite songs. I found the clip with the fire fighters and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to begin this. It encapsulates the heroism, the heartache, danger and loss that fire fighting and bush fires can mean. Bushfire season is now with us, as potent as Summer Love.

Every day now I hear the reports of how wonderful it is that Summer is coming… even though we are only in the early part of Spring, the temperatures are already fluctuating wildly. Yes it is wonderful and I adore the beautiful spring and summer flowers we have. The beautiful display of Jacarandas are amazing this year.

A jacaranda lined road.

After a relatively dry winter throughout most of the country, and some idiotic bureaucratic interference that has prohibited back burning and fire breaks by property holders to prevent their homes being caught up in bushfire situations, we have masses of tinder dry, bushfire fuel loads surrounding homes and properties.

The insanity of land management being taken away from property owners, which is so closely aligned to the land care Aborigines have used for hundreds of years, is not simply ludicrous, it is criminally insane.  I am all for Greening Australia, protecting our heritage and doing the right things now, but we cannot and must not put our heads in the sand and have puerile decisions made based on land management that dates back into the last century and before.

This is typical of what farmers and landholders, rural and regional, have to sit back and accept. The fuel load here is enormous. As the foliage falls and builds under the canopy at ground level, and the dried grasses mound up, the gases from the eucalyptus trees can reach combustible proportions. Flash fires can occur, lightning can strike, but you cannot prevent the thoughtlessness of people throwing lit matches or cigarettes out of car windows. More despicable are those who delight in deliberately setting fires once the conditions are at their worst.

As the temperature rises and the winds come across the super heated land, conditions for spontaneous bush fires escalate.  Add to this the intense fuel loads you see above and this is what can and does happen…..

We are very fortunate that we live in Byron Bay, in a beautiful green area, but we are still prone to the influence and devastation of bushfire. Just not to the same extent. Since last weekend there have been over thirty bush fires raging in the Blue Mountains area in New South Wales and over a hundred throughout the state. Thousands of hectares destroyed. Over a hundred homes lost, and this is just so far. There are fires raging in the deep gorges and valleys that cannot be fought. They have to burn themselves, and all the wildlife, out.

image from waterworksvalley.com – Waterworks Valley in the Blue Mountains

This is what the rural fire brigade and their cousins in the city fire departments and local volunteers have been fighting. Until the last fires are extinguished, the final devastating total will not be known. This is not the first bush fire this season.  It will not be the last.

The crime is – much of this could be avoided with common sense.

Yes, I am angry. Our fire fighters, volunteers, home and land owners, our domestic animals and wildlife, none of them should be placed in harm’s way because a small minority of bureaucratic Green terrorists think removal of fuel load is not good for the land. Perhaps THEY should be in the front line fighting the fires.

Off my Soap Box, just for a while.

Blessings to all our fire fighters, home and land owners, our animals caught in the fires unable to escape, the injured wildlife, and all those left behind to try to put everything back together again.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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unable to sleep

image courtesy of youngwivestales.wordpress.com

He would lie in the bed and finally, with daylight, he would go to sleep. After all, he said to himself, it is probably only insomnia. Many must have it.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Clean Well Lighted Place

There is something so frustrating about not being able to go to sleep, or perhaps worse, continually waking after falling asleep. Either one will leave you feeling tired and irritable the next morning and there is nothing known (not that I know) which can give you back the lost hours of sleep.  I have counted sheep and found it totally irritating. I have warmed milk and sipped it. The effort of getting up and warming it has seemed to wake me even further.  I have decided to get up and read for a while until my eyes are heavy enough to close.  Feels successful until you lay down again and those eyes which are burning to remain closed and let you sleep, pop open once more.  In fact, frustration really doesn’t do the feeling justice.

The irony is, there isn’t always a reason for it happening.  Sometimes there will be a thorny problem which you cannot let go of and it runs around your brain seeking a way out. If only a door could be found it would be a wonderful way to exorcise that scenario!  However, this time there was a quite reasonable  explanation. Just as I was drifting off to sleep I heard what sounded like a loud crash, something rather substantial being broken, outside near the patio.

broken flower pot
image courtesy of noaz.blogspot.com

A search didn’t reveal too much, the lights don’t really cover the area very well. All appeared to be okay and I couldn’t see any stray cats, dogs or possums hiding in the corners, nor anything out-of-place.  Still, I could hear the possums cavorting across the roof the next time I laid down and had almost fallen asleep. Hmm – the likely culprits?  I love the little things, okay, perhaps not so little, and definitely not to be tangled with if you don’t want to be scratched or bitten, but cute all the  same.  They sounded, at times, like a herd of rampaging bull elephants charging over the roof.

We have tried to keep the branches  far enough away from the roof so they can’t easily get across, and have had a fair degree of success until last night. Obviously the foliage grew faster than our vigilance of the garden.  Since they were having fun and I was well and truly awake I decided I would try to get a nice photo of them.  Further frustration ensued. Even twisting myself into a human pretzel I couldn’t see over the roof to get a clear sight of them.  When they escaped into the trees they were too far away with my puny torch to light up the area where they were. I could see them but the light simply wasn’t enough for the camera.  So they sat there ‘laughing at me’.

ring tail possums in tree

image courtesy of timpanogos.wordpress.com

So, here I sit, wide awake, temporarily, since I can feel my energy levels finally running on empty, finishing my little tale of woe of broken sleep.  I would be delighted to watch possums or any other nighttime creature – before I go to bed!  We will have to fix the branches which allow them to gain access to the roof. I really don’t want them in the roof, or breaking the tiles, especially if we have rain forecast, as we currently do.  (Murphy’s Law).  Now that I think about it, – the brain is slowing down so sleep must be near – I wouldn’t be too keen on bats visiting me during the night either.  I’m not an avid bat fan even if I do like vampire movies.

So, since the ‘sun’ is up and the possums have retired, I’m heading to the land of nod for a few hours of well deserved sleep. Despite feeling tired I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a blessing seeing the animals around the property, and we have been blessed with a wide assortment of wildlife from birds, possums, owls, to a very quiet carpet snake.  Fortunately for me, he was much smaller than my friends resident carpet snake, who, after what may well have been a possum dinner, was so huge I doubt he could have retired to her ceiling where he normally lives.  I guess my luck was running good there!

So I hope all the slumberers from my neck of the world had a restful night and I wish all those on the other side of the world a restful night to come. Goodnight !

peaceful sleep
image courtesy of sleep.lovetoknow.com

“Arousing from the most profound of slumbers, we break the gossamer web of some dream. Yet in a second afterward, (so frail may that web have been) we remember not that we have dreamed.”

– from “The Pit and the Pendulum” Edgar Allan Poe

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