Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Rain it Raineth Every Day

For an El Nino year it just keeps raining. Today there was forecast showers but they were pretty constant. As soon as a patch of blue sky appeared overhead it started to drizzle again. Not much chop for getting washing dry but not persistent enough to drive me indoors.
I'm happy it is raining and cold. This time last year we had a huge bushfire threat. Our other property was surrounded by fires and was on Emergency, Evacuate or Watch and Act for 75 days. The fire burned across the only access roads so it was impossible to get in to water the garden or pick the tomatoes for weeks. Eventually the fire stopped 80m from the house and we lost nothing except the understorey of almost all our 300 acres.

While we were not in the heart of it, the threat to our property and our neighbours and friends totally occupied our thoughts for months. The kids school was closed all term and lots of other services and routines were disrupted. Smoke hung around as a constant companion and reminder. On the worst day a 9km high phytocumulus cloud hung over Opportunity Farm and threatened to come crashing down. We took off and fortunately the cloud imploded back on to the fireground.

The fire cloud shortly before everything went black

Immediately after the fire passed through, there was eerie silence, bare earth and charred trunks. Now it is a riot of green, with ferns and epicormic growth bursting out in response.

So to have a gentle day, with water dripping off my hat, chipping out tussocks from the top fence line, was a blessing. The grass is still green and the dams and tanks are full. We had the wood heater on again last night - in January! - but its cosy warmth was appreciated. It can keep raining if it wants too - I can't complain.

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