The State of South Australia covers some 983,482 sq.klm. It’s bigger than Texas but with a total population only marginally greater than Phoenix, I suppose we do have a lot of environment. To the west of me – the town of Cowell some 115 klms away -the photograph is in the general direction of Cowell and there is nothing in between except the general assortment of Australian wildlife. Like many places in the USA South Australia punishes people who do not take the environment seriously – they die in the harsh, hot conditions of outback SA. There was three travellers died only a few weeks ago when the car they were driving in broke down and they decided that it was only twenty miles to the nearest settlement, so they could walk there for help in a 45c temperature. They became lost and didn’t make it and their bodies were recovered only after a massive police and ranger search. If you treat it with disrespect and are unprepared for the worst that could happen, the far north of South Australia can be very unforgiving. Even driving between here and Adelaide, I carry 2 x 3 litre water containers in the boot (trunk) and I always have drinking water with me in the car. When I take the dogs out during the summer months – in the morning before the heat and in the evening when it’s little cooler,, I generally have a small backpack with a bottle of water and a bowl.
The South Australian Dog Rescue ended the year fairly well and 400 dogs have been saved from the pound and have gone to new furever homes. I have been involved in ten of those, which I have taken from here the 400 klms to the State Capital and their new owners. I hope to be heading that way sometime next week, once this heatwave breaks. At the moment it is 35c but this is expected to rise and to mid 40+c over the next few days and into the start of next week with a cool change coming mid-week.
In the garden it has generally been a tidy up and keep up the watering to what plants have survived the heat of the other week. I have not been able to replace them because it is New Year and most places are closed until today, so I will probably get over to the Garden shop during the course of the day and have a look at what I think might survive. As I said before I have doubts about labels that say “Full Sun”
The temperature has started to rise and today was a nice 26c. However, not a lot of work was done outside because although the temp. is fair, it’s blowing a gale. Dry with high winds – this, if it keeps up, will mean dust storms over the next few days. As it is, trying to keep the place clear of dust is a full time job at the moment. I have cemented the washing line holder into place and although it is a tab too high for herself, I will take it back out over the week end and cut some off the bottom so that it will be easier for her to work with. However, until such time as I can get the area completed I will probably hang out and take in her washing because the ground is too uneven for her to walk on. But this is South Australia – either wet, dry with high winds, or stinking hot (45c) with a hot wind coming off the desert. Gets a bit tiring at times, but I prefer that to the cold and the wet – as do most Australians.
We came to a decision that we will not move the washing area after all. The difficulty in rebuilding the area I had in mind for her was just too great so we decided to buy a new rotary hoist and redo the present area. We also decided to buy a second clothes trolley so that she can use one from the back door to the dog gate, then lift the wash basket onto the second trolley at the other side of the gate and take that to her washing line – repeat process with dry washing on way back. Now that the better weather is starting – despite the winds and the frustration of debris from trees, it is starting to get quite nice outside, so I will be able to get out and get on with some work. One of the wettest winters on record, a few weeks into spring and the farmers are complainig about the lack of rain. You can’t win with some people since it is only a short time ago that they were complaining that the ground was too wet to plant.
Last week of winter. Next week is the official beginning of Spring. Ok, so the split system A/C was installed at the very end of winter but it will be ok and well run in by the time we start to experience some hot weather – always provided we get some. It would be nice to think that after this wet weather we will get some heat and warmth, then I can have the fun of complaining that it’s too hot. I have to say that I have not had to say that for a while. Years ago the average temperature was around 42c in mid-summer and climbing up to a hottish 45c, but we have not had weather like that for a while now. We have bursts but not the long hot heat-waves that we used to have when the temperature went above 37c and forgot to come back down. Global warming – cooler temperatures – cold with lots of rain -doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
I head off to Adelaide in the morning for a funeral. Adelaide is some 475 Klms from here so it’s about 800 klm round trip for a funeral – but that’s South Australia. However it is not a wasted trip and in the morning I pick up two little Maltese girls and take them to their new homes in Adelaide. I do this for the South Australia Dog Rescue. I think of the poor dogs that are dumped, like these two little girls were and I feel very sad because it’s quite common in this place. It’s a sad thing when people just dump their dogs at the nearest Vet. Most of them end up in the pound and the not to lucky ones have to be put to sleep. Sometimes dogs are picked up off the street and although the pounds advertises for the owners – mostly they never come forward because they just wont pay the $50 fine to get the animal back. They are kept for about ten days then put to sleep, unless the Dog Rescue steps in and takes them out, but for that we need more foster carers and we don’t have them. If we had a) more responsible owners or b) more carers (whilst the SADR finds new homes) we would be a lot better able to cope with the problems.
I have also spent a good part of the week organising a group to participate in a fundraising event for the Local Royal Flying Doctors Support Group. Only to find that the event is not now going to take place. Nice to know these things. Oh well – these things happen I suppose.
Australia, like Florida, is generally associated with sun, sea and sand and fairly laid back lifestyle. Much of the time this is generally the case but these last few years have been a trial and our weather has been very strange. We had some hot weather for a couple of days last “summer” and the same the “summer” before that but we have not really had what Australia would call a “summer”. It wasn’t so long ago that I was saying that I was not too fussed about the heat and looked forward to weekends and barbecues. My barbecue has cobwebs on it at the moment. I only used to a few weeks ago when we had a gas failure and no gas for four days so I cooked everything on there barbecue. The long warm, sunny evenings sitting outside with the laptop and a glass of wine- seem like something from another time and place We have unprecedented rain and flooding and only last week two mini-tornadoes struck Adelaide causing a fair bit of damage. Cold, wild and wet and this is global warming??? I think we should re-write the Song ” I come from a land down under, the place of rain and snow and thunder” Raining Monday and a good part of Tuesday. It’s Wednesday and thus far it’s dry.
I have to head off down to Adelaide this week. Normally I would call the Dog Rescue and see if there is any dogs requiring transportation and take them down with me, but this time, it’s not my car so I won’t be able to. I might try and organise a trip to Adelaide the following week – at least an overnight trip. Tomorrow I will get the Standard Roses and plant them as soon as I get back from Adelaide.