Fires, Dust Storms and the Gate of the Year.

Overall it’s been another heatwave week with temperatures reaching a high of 45c.  Today this was accompanied  by a hot wind off the desert and it really was a hot and strong wind – walk outside and it really hits you.  Hot days are bearable but when there is a hot north wind like there was today, it makes life a bit more difficult.  Took Benji out for a walk at 05:30 this morning and the wind was starting to develop along with the heat, but still ok for walking, not dark but no sun either. However we had not gone too far when he  was sick, so  I took him back home. Fortunately we were only about a couple of hundred yards from home. I think over this last week there has been little relief from the heat an night ( I’ve not had much of a sleep) – even with the fans on, so perhaps the heat was starting to get to him.  Having brought him home, he went into his bed and I kept an eye on him. He seemed to be ok. However, Annabell was unwell and we had to get an emergency appointment with the doctor, so Annabell had to be attended to. The clinic is in partial closedown  but  we managed to get an appointment and see the doctor on duty.  From there we drove to the shopping center and the chemists for medication. She too seems to be doing fine for the moment but I have kept one eye on each of them  :o)

This afternoon
The sun almost blotted out.

The high winds continued throughout the day and we had dry thunderstorms, lots of crashing, bashing and flashing (no splashing)  and the wind did  start the inevitable dust storm. Not as great as previous weeks since much of the dust has already been blown off. I did take Benji for a drive into the  Hummock Hill, but being exposed to the gulf, the wind was gale force and difficult to walk. I  did go down off the hill to the foreshore, but it wasn’t all that much better down there. I decided that the best course was just to come home again.  As the evening has progressed Annabell is starting to feel unwell again, so I will have to keep  a watch on her. Fortunately I am a lightish sleeper so I’ll know if she gets any worse during the night.   I was due to go down to Adelaide on Thursday with John, but I think I might give it a miss .  I’ll talk to John tonight and we will decide. I am not in any great rush to get down there at the moment. However, I’ll see how she is come Thursday. Over and above that we will also need to see how the weather conditions are beyond Port Pirie. Last thing I want to do is get stuck down there because it’s not safe to drive back up – although having said that, the major fire is at Cudlee Creek which is in the Adelaide Hills a fair way from the Main North Road and the Port Wakefield Road.

Victoria (the State) is in a bad way with fires burning out of control and over 4000 people being evacuated to the beach. The Royal Australian Navy is on standby ready to evacuate the  people if and when it becomes necessary. New South Wales is not much better and lives are being lost. Generally we complain that it’s  hot particularly on a day like Monday with the hot wind coming in off the desert. But most of the land around here is empty bushland with the only trees being the trees that  the founders and the succeeding councils have planted around the town. Outside of the town there’s really not a lot to burn. The Adelaide Hills are a different proposition altogether.  The terrain makes it very difficult to  tackle any fires in the hills and surrounding areas.

Well here we are. South Australia, 9pm on New Year’s Eve. A few hours until the end of the year and the end of the decade. I wonder what 2020  and the new decade will bring?

Piper’s Lament
“The Flowers of the Forest”

“and I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year

Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.

And he replied, go out into the darkness and put your hand

Into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light

and safer than a known way.

 

I hope you all have a lovely. joyful and peaceful New Year

Towards the Final Curtain I

The heatwave continues with temperature soaring to 49c in some parts of the  regions around here. At the moment we have touched 46.5c and that is expected to get even hotter today and tomorrow. Port Augusta recorded 50.1c but the “Official Temperature” was only 44c.  I have problems with this “Official Temperature” guff and I see it the temperature is what that big bright orange ball in the sky beats down on your wee head – that’s the temperature – not some reading on a thermometer, protected from direct sunlight, protected from rain and protected from wind. It may well be “Official”but that doesn’t make it real.

Government: The fires are getting worse and now the outer suburbs of Sydney are at risk

Prime Minister: Yes I know

Government: The temperatures  will soar into the high 40s this entire week and break records across the whole nation

Prime Minister: Yes I know

Government: The Drought is spreading and cattle are dying  and farmers are in desperate straights

Prime Minister: Yes I know.

Prime Minister: Address your concerns to the Deputy Prime Minister, I am going on holiday

Oh I agree, everyone deserves a holiday, but when your house is threatened by fire, it  is not perhaps the best time to take said holiday. At this time the Prime Minister should be here – taking happy family photographs in a warm sunny place while firefightere have died at home, and an area, bigger than Wales is burning , is not a good look.

A temperature reading at Waikerie in South Australia  was 51c and my  thermometer  was reading 50c – which is as high as it can go but the “Official” temperature is 44.3c.    Well, yes, it’s still hot but  6 degrees

Wonder what the “Official”temperature is.

lower than what it really is. Tomorrow (Friday) is going to be the hottest day of the heatwave with Saturday predicted to be thunderstorms – which should be interesting since I have a fundraising day for the RFDS. Fortunately the one that the Council was trying to organise for Saturday evening, has been cancelled. We really needed more than two people although John and I would have managed, we have done it before,  but certainly under less stressful weather conditions. Just had a look at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) site and it says 45c with overnight  at 28c – another uncomfortable night.  Tomorrow we are looking at about 46+c before the cool change sweeps through, bringing much welcome and needed relief.

Friday and the temperature did indeed reach 45c but in some parts of the state it went higher and a fire started. It is now burning out of control and heading towards the town of Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills.  Everything was thrown at this fire but the high heat, the difficulty of the terrain and the changing winds just blew it out of control. Despite all they have on their hands, New South Wales sent some of their firefighters down to help us. There have been reported injuries to firefighters and police and 28 people have been taken to hospital. The wind whipped up dust storms for a while – which really didn’t help matters. We just have to pray that nothing happened here because our firefighters and units have gone to help fight the fires in the Adelaide Hills.

The fundraising  for the RFDS that was supposed to happen today – didn’t. What with all the heat and the problems thoughout the week dates were mixed up. Well yes, we do have a fundraising

Part of the fire area in South Australia.

event and it is on 22nd December but somehow days got mixed up and it was believed that the 22nd was today (Saturday) – it”s tomorrow (Sunday) and I’m not down to do it – it being Sunday. Anyway, we have put it down as a heat related  mix-up. The fires here in South Australia have claimed two lives and injured 28 – many of those injured are firefighters and the present outlook is not  good.

Towards the Final Curtain H.

The fires continue to burn in New South Wales and Queensland. There are 700 South Australian Firefighters and fire units as well as 40 Canadian Firefighters helping  to battle the fires. The weather patterns are not helping and as far as I am aware it is hot and windy in NSW. I mean the strangeness of the weather can be seen here in South Australia – Sunday and it was 46c, Monday 37c, Tuesday (today) I was positively cold when out walking the dog this morning, with the temperature at 17c. In NSW a cool change brought in winds of 100 kph  which change direction rapidly, hampering fire-fighting efforts.  There are over 120  fires with some 1800 firefighters, water bombers, fire retardant aircraft and support personnel  battling them. Here is SA it has been windy for much of the day. Actually, it has been windy for much of the last week and being surrounded

by  Eucalyptus trees, there are leaves and bits of branches  everywhere. For the time being I have simply given up trying to clean up. Sweep up today, much the same tomorrow.

Makes me feel cool looking at it.

The weather this week has been cool to cold in the early morning (when Benji and me go out) then warming up to mid 25c(ish)  during the day Sometimes 27c. This is set to change rapidly as Sunday will be 37c and the Temperature will be in the low to mid 40+c all week with the change coming next Saturday 21st. So, this will be the first  real heat-wave of the summer rather than the two mini heatwaves we had had thus far. This will not be a nice week. I was thinking I might get up really early and take Benji for a double walk since we wont get out in the afternoon – pavements (sidewalks) will be hot. I will reset my alarm – 15 minutes can make a difference – it did last time. I found this photograph and I think I might just use it as my  desktop for the week  :o)  The State Government has  declared a Red Alert for South Australia for the week of extreme heat. My outside  thermometer has already registered 43c and it’s only Monday! The Friday temperature for Adelaide is forecast to be 45c, so goodness knows what it will be up here.

Took Benji out for a walk this evening – after the sun had gone down and things cooled down somewhat. We had a good walk and cleared about 14,000 steps – which when you consider the day it has been, is not three bad. Tomorrow could be very different. The City Council are winding down and it’s their Christmas Break-up on Saturday. The RFDS have been asked to do the catering. We are trying to get a team organised for this and at the moment we have two with me being one of the two – my Son being the other one  :o)  We are both doing a Fundraising function on Saturday morning, so Saturday is going to be a very busy day.

The fires in New South Wales have gotten worse with several of the fires joining together to create what they are now calling a “Megafire”with 10 meter high flames – scary!!! With the current weather conditions it’s not going to get any better soon. The heavwave that is currently scortching South Australia will move east and in the next few days will start to effect the NSW fires. As you may know, I have been feeding the Magpies.  Generally I  leave out  some bread to go hard, then crush it up into  crumbs – and that’s what I give to the Magpies.  Had a sudden wave to the brain and thought “Why don’t I get birdseed and use that” so, that’s what I did. This morning (5:40am) Benji and I went out and the Magpies were there, so I emptied some of the container of birdseed for them.    They went over, looked at it and walked away – wouldn’t even touch it. Looks as if I

The Magpie

shall have to go back to stale breadcrumbs. Don’t know what to do with this birdseed now. Might give it to Benji and see if it will induce him to whistle and sing.

I have just been out to check on the temperature and, according to my thermometer  it is 43c and still three days of this to go. I’m thinking  it’s going to be a long week.

My “Backyard” Not a lot to burn here.