Since I wrote my last bushfire update things have improved a lot. We had some good rains and that along with some cooler weather enabled the firefighters to do some back burning and mopping up operations, finally dropping Geeveston and the surrounding areas back from “Watch and Act” status to “Advice”.
The fires are still listed as “going” but many of the other areas around the state where there have been fires are now listed as “Patrol” or “being controlled”.
I haven’t said a lot about the fires in other areas because I was telling the story from my own point of view but they were all as serious as the one we were facing and there was some property loss. Also, many hectares of World Heritage listed forests have been burned, Tasmania’s honey industry has taken a major hit due to the loss of leatherwood trees and who knows how much wildlife has been killed. We are extremely fortunate that there was no loss of life and so few homes burned. It could have been much, much worse.
The worst of it is we may find ourselves in this situation again next summer or any summer. This could be our new normal and that is a scary thought.
I am at home. I could have come home a few days ago but I picked today as a good day firstly because it was more convenient for Naomi and secondly because of my trip to the Wooden Boat Festival yesterday.
Apart from smelling a bit stale and needing a good vacuum and dust my house is fine. I will have to get on to the cleaning bit because the real estate agent rang to ask if she could bring a potential buyer to have a look at it on Monday.
A day to laze around at home enjoying my own space would have been nice but it will have to wait, there are dust bunnies to hunt.
The apple blossom never seems to last long, October is often windy and sometimes it’s gone almost as soon as it has arrived.
In May I planted some bluebells under the tree, I honestly didn’t know then if I would be here to see them flower as the house was on the market already but I thought that they would look nice and be a parting gift to the house.
They flowered this week in time to coincide with the arrival of the apple blossom and it does look nice. If I am still here in the autumn I’ll try to plant a few more. A mass of them would look beautiful next spring.
I was out in the garden looking for circular things to photograph for Cee;s Black & White Photo Challenge and took this photo of the top of the wind chime that hangs in the apple tree. I thought that it looked pretty good in colour too so here it is.
Naomi’s friend Leigh made this for me probably twenty years ago now. It used to hang on the front porch at our old house. It’s been in the apple tree for many years now and has become over grown with moss but it has a lovely tone. I hope to take it to the next house too.
I first posted this in November last year although I have posted a photo of the hedge every spring since it was put in. It is starting to get a lot of new growth now that spring is supposedly here so the other day I took a few new photos to add to the timeline.
The Photinia hedge was planted in October 2014 to enhance the front of the house. This was long before painting, paths or any other work was done. I chose these plants because I see a lot of them growing around here so I knew they would suit the conditions and also because I like the red colour of the new growth. I have tried to take a photo of the hedge each year . It’s been slow but now it is finally looking like a real hedge even though every bush seems to be growing at a different rate. The ones at either end are smaller. I think they get too much carbon monoxide from vehicles stopping at the letter box and in my neighbours driveway. A couple got nibbled by possums or possibly wallabies who visit the garden although I have never seen them. One was taken out completely either by the postie or the neighbour and just died but the rest are going strong.
Four years ago we decided to grow a hedge to screen the house from the road. I chose Photinia as it is a commonly used hedging plant locally so I knew it would have a good chance of growing and I like the colours as the new growth is red. Jason and Brodie, the “garden guys” got the plants for me and Jason suggested buying an extra one and planting it in an out of the way part of the garden in case we needed a replacement.
Over time we did lose a couple of the plants but the hedge was dense enough that the gap did not matter too much so the odd one was left in peace at the bottom of the garden. Some people do grow Photinia as a tree it is not only used as hedging.
Well today it has well and truly overtaken its hedge based brothers and sisters and is now taller than I am while they have not quite reached five feet.
I was chatting to Jason about this recently and he suggested that it is all about location. It rains a lot here as you know and in summer I water the hedge in dry spells but the soil is relatively dry there compared to the bottom of the garden which in winter is so damp that I nearly got my foot stuck in the mud when I went to the compost bin one day recently. I water the other garden trees but never that one. It has thrived on neglect.
The hedge has been trimmed a few times but only to tidy it up as some plants have grown faster than others and it has not been trimmed for a couple of months. The back yard tree has never been trimmed in any way. It looks untidy because Cindy broke a branch when she was jumping and barking at the neighbour dog who had chewed a hole in the fence.
On Friday my garden guys came to prune the apple tree and after they left I went out to take some photos of it as I do every year. The sun was quite bright and concentrating on the tree I entirely failed to notice that Cindy had more pressing business on her mind. Oh well at least it gave me a bad photo Monday shot.