Saturday, January 10

Rain follows the Fire

Last weekend we were dealing with smoke and the worry of a fire coming down the hills face into our suburb. Our friends property at Kersbrook was burn out, but a well prepared fire system saved the house and main sheds, although out-sheds were lost, as well as most of the fences. This weekend we have rain, and floods in central Australia (see ABC news). The synoptic map is unique (the last time it apparently did this was in 1974).

Synoptic Map from Bureau of Meteorology (9 Jan 2014)

The creek flows only when it rains, and since we have had nearly 30 mm since Thursday, it is currently flowing (10 Jan 2014). This is not something we have seen often in Summer, especially since last week we had multiple days >40°C.

Creek flowing in summer - an unusual event
The vegetables don’t much like 40°C as the stamens desiccate and therefore the flowers do not set. My tomatoes are growing, but not ripening, but I have the best cumbers ever, although they are suffering from either burn from sulphur or some disease. I spray copper/sulphur to control fungal infections, but the hot weather, I think has caused the leaves to burn. 

Tomatoes in hydroponics beginning to ripen

Sunday, January 4


After living through Ash Wednesday - the farm was burnt but the house had main sheds were saved - the Humbug Fire brought back vivid memories. Everything was in grey scale - I remember seeing no colour for many weeks, until the first tinge of green showed through after some autumn rain. The current fire starting on a very hot 42'C day, was perhaps in one of the worse places a fire could start - in a large forest. We prepared to evacuate at 2 am on Saturday 3rd, after the wind turned towards us, but then it moved away. Friends near the start of the fire (Sampson Flat) have not fared so well with the fire going through their property. Their house was OK the last time I managed to speak to them, but they have lost fences and sheds, but not their animals. Other friends at Birdwood, Kenton Valley and Gumeracha appear to be OK at the moment.

3rd January 2015 over Banksia Park High School, Fire NE of Range Road North.
1983 Farm house, Langley Road, Cudlee Creek

The ABC has some interesting photographs of the Adelaide Hills Fire (2015) -