After discussions with herself and the fact that the temperature is going to be extreme , I telephoned Adelaide and cancelled my booking. I will not be going to Adelaide after all. Probably just as well. The high to extreme temperatures will cover about two thirds of the continent according to the Bureau of Meteorology – should clear South Australia by late Friday but with a second front pushing in and lasting until at least the New Year. Already there are reports of fires in the Adelaide Hills and the fire Services are on alert. Sadly, two 9 (NINE) year olds have been picked up by police for lighting fires. Police are patrolling the back country roads looking for anything suspicious. Temperature (Official) is expected to reach 43c with the chance of a thunderstorm in the late evening. This means it will really be about 45c+ since the Official Temperature is taken from a protected area and does not really reflect what’s beaming down on your little head as you walk outside – somewhere between 109f and 113f. However, thunderstorms – with or without rain – are not uncommon after a bout of high temperatures.
I have an industrial grade Thermometer under the pergola and when I checked in at 3:50 it was nudging 47c. On the news this evening the Official Temperature was 44.5, which is only 2.5 degrees of a difference. I will probably dress Chienne in her Thundershirt again tonight as we are advised that there will a severe weather warning for tonight – High Wind Thurderstorm and Lightening strikes, but probably no rain – which is what I suggested a paragraph or so ago. I spoke to Alan and he seems resigned to not being able to spend Christmas with us. However, I will make time to go down to Adelaide sometime after Christmas and visit with him for a while. Perhaps we could get a wheelchair and I could take him out for a coffee somewhere – that should be ok.
Friday 20th (am) and the forecast high winds and thunderstorm never eventuated. Of course, sometimes the forecasts are out by 24 hours and instead of a Thursday night, it could all happen tonight. Still that’s ok – Chienne looks good in her Thundershirt and she was a bit agitated last night but that could have been due to the change in pressure after the wind change. While I wont be in Adelaide now until after Christmas I hope (weather permitting) to take a run through to the Arid Lands and bring
back some plants. Oddly enough, I have bought Native Plants here and within months they die, whereas the plants I bought almost a year ago in the ALBG are still with us. I have three rose bushes out front and to be honest they have never flourished, never flowered and are half dead. I am going to replace them with natives. I might remember to take my camera with me and take some photographs along the road.
Why do we transport dogs to Adelaide for adoption? Why not adopt locally? Ok. Only this week a little Maltese Cross was tied up outside a local supermarket in a shopping area. It was a very warm day and it was only when the little thing started going into distress that people realised something was very wrong. Dog owners frequently take their dog with them when they go to the supermarket, tie the dog up outside, get their milk or whatever, leave, pick up the dog and go home. It’s common practice – but this character (whoever he may be), tied the dog up and vanished. Because it is a common enough sight, no one really paid much attention for several hours. Once it was discovered that there was a problem and the owner was nowhere in sight, the RSPCA (ASPCA??) were called. Not so very long ago two puppies were tied up to a tree 10 miles from town and left there. They were spotted by a passing motorist who called the RSPCA and the dogs were taken to the pound. To paraphrase the words of the late President Reagan ” locally is not the solution to the problem – locally is the problem.” Backyard breeders are a problem and dogs – and kittens – get dumped on the doorstep of the local vet. The staff have frequently come to open up in the morning and found a box on the doorstep with two, or more puppies in it. The other problem is that this is a kill pound. Two weeks is all they can stay, then they are euthanised. I cannot foster because of my own dogs but I do what I can and help out with my frequent trips to Adelaide, but we do have a good number of people who cae enough to foster until a new home is found. Oh but we are not uncivilised and the council no longer uses a gas chamber, but uses a lethal injection. The gas chamber was taken out of service in 2009.
Queensland and Northern New South Wales are recovering from major flooding whilst parts of Victoria and Tasmania are again having serious fire problems. I have a friend in Tasmania who sent me some photographs of the fire in the hills above her property. They look quite disturbing and orders are out for evacuations. I said before, in this little corner of the commonwealth we are relatively free from real extremes of weather, fires and floods.
I find it interesting how attitudes change over time – well mine has. I once looked on my trips to town as a bonus, because the early start to the Saturday Conference meant I had to travel down on the Friday. However as the participants have become, over the years, more and more metro centric ( if it’s good for Adelaide it MUST be good for the whole of the State) and have this belief that nothing of any importance happens beyond the Adelaide boundaries, I have come to look on the Conferences as the price I have to pay for my frequent trips to the city. Sad, really. Still, the dogs that I help to rehome benefit and that can’t be a bad thing.