Wetlands, Lighthouse and Dust Storms

Dougal and Benji at Wetlands

Dougal came for a stay last Thursday.  Being flat out for much of last week we didn’t get out much but I did manage to get  them both to the Wetlands for a walk. Still no rain to speak of so there is no change in the water levels. It might not seem like that from the photograph, but then looks can be deceiving , however, the main pond still has water in it. Still it was a good time together and if he is still here, I  will take them both for a drive  out to the Lighthouse at the weekend.  At the end of this month we may be looking after a new dog for two weeks. One of the ladies at the church asked me if I would be willing to look after her dog for two weeks . Annabell was there at the time  and she said we would love to. I totally agree since the lady in question is one of the coffee ladies group and she has a Pug called Max – that should be fun.

During this week we experienced one of the  consequences of the drought.  The weather up until last Thursday was  fair – bit warm but fair- Friday was a different thing

This was at Port Wakefield , I believe.

altogether. Friday we had high winds – as high as 95 klms per hour in places. The traffic ground to a halt in Port Wakefield area as visibility was  zero, due to thick dust storms. We had high winds here and some experiences of the dust storms but nothing like the other areas of the  peninsula. Port Lincoln faced winds of over 100 kms. per hour and it was so bad that the power company shut off the power to Port Lincoln and the surrounding area – some 15,000 people without power. The reason was to protect Port Lincoln.  The power company was concerned that the high winds would bring down trees and branches onto power lines sparking a fire, which, in the high wind conditions, could take hold and spread very quickly. Adelaide also took a bit of a

Wont look at the Camera.

battering. As I said, we were not too bad – things happen above us or below us,

In the far north of the State, things are different  and the desert is blooming again. The flood waters from Queensland have made their way down and are currently pouring into Lake Eyre – normally  dry. As the waters have made their way down from Queensland and filled the dry river beds, the desert is now watered , everything along the way is blooming and there is an abundance of wildlife, swans, ducks, wild geese and pelicans. The  water will create islands in the lake where the birds can breed and raise chicks without foxes and dingos being able to get to them. Lake Eyre is 9,500 square klms however the Lake Eyre Basin and catchment area is 1.14 million square klms. It’s a big, big basin and lake Eyre itself is some 15 meters – about 50 feet – below sea level.  Last time it flooded my  son, John,  took the  flight up there and flew over Lake Eyre and the surrounding area. I did see the photographs and it was quite a spectacular sight to see the water flooding into the lake.

I took the dogs to the lighthouse and we had a good wander around the place and a good long walk  around the point. The weather was nice – bit on the warm side (34c) but quite nice. Benji did his usual and refused to look at the camera.  The drive to and from the lighthouse is 76 klms. or 46.25 miles, so it’s not something I do  too often but there’s no where else we can go – everything else around us is either a conservation area, or a  reserve area and  the whole of the Flinders Ranges are National Parks.

One of the things I enjoy doing is taking photographs. I agree I’m not all that good at it but I like doing it. I did go to a photography club some years ago , but  wasn’t too impressed with it. I am thinking I might give it another go. It seems to have a  different attitude to it these days so perhaps I might not find it quite as I did last time. One can but try. But then I have also changed since then and and I do believe I have quite mastered the Box Brownie now.

So begins another year.

On Thursday (28th.)  I took a trip down to Adelaide. I did not  think driving down and back was a great idea so I took the coach down – well, yes, good and bad. The good was that I arrived

Pipes and Drums for New Year

there stress free  however the bad was sitting for so long my knee froze and I had difficulty walking for a bit. Mind you, I get the same sitting at the computer for too long. I really must get this attended to sooner rather than later.  Part of the reason for going to Adelaide was to get Annabell’s new phone sorted out. We do not have an Optus Shop in town – we have an Optus reseller, which is not quite the same thing. They will sell phones and accessories and create contrtacts, but they  are not authorised to do repairs, these things have to be done at an Official Optus Shop, with trained staff and  resources. If your mobile ( cell) phone breaks down, you can take it to the place here and they will send it off to Adelaide for repair. From here the nearest Optus Shop is either Adelaide or Port Lincoln – Port Lincoln, well if you are going to travel that distance you might as well go to Adelaide and have the benefit of all the other shops.

On Wednesday, as some of you may know, we had a visit from Sooah, her husband and The WaWa. Benji was not happy – not at all. I think it was a question of “Just when you thought it

My friends will save me

was safe to….” However, it was a short visit and absence has certainly not made the heart grow any fonder as far as Benji is concerned. Still it was fair karma for what he did to me causing the word “Adoption” to enter my head.  Well, I was singing, and he – my associate and companion –  got up out of his bed and left the room. I mean, that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think??  I was not all that impressed.  Anyway it was lovely to see Sooah and her family again – even the WaWa – and she was looking good –   ( the WaWa that is ) still agro,  but looking well.  And I did manage to get a cuddle from her and she perched on my shoulder and  neck. I could suggest she was looking for a good spot on my neck to sink her pointed teeth into, but that’s a bit on the mean side  :o)

Benji’s “Friend”

Annabell bought me a set of six  Bohemian Crystal Wine Glasses for Christmas and as we had Christmas Lunch and Dinner with my son, his family and all the family, at Andrew’s House, I never really had the opportunity to use them. I certainly will tonight and the wine will be single malt, 18 years old, made in Tain, Scotland.

Overall New Year here was fairly quiet. Annabell went to bed about 12:30  John James and I  sat chatting until about 01:30. At 6am I got up and took Benji out for his walk.  The days since New Year’s Eve have been busy in that one of our ladies ( in a nursing home) passed away and her funeral is on Thursday. I have had a busy few days getting  things ready for that  writing the Order of Service, printing, photocopy and collate. Well yes, not intensive work, but time consuming and a paper jam didn’t help. The family want to do a power point of highlights in their mother’s life  so I met the two sons and we set that up. The sad thing is that with all the new people in church today, most of the people who knew the lady, are gone.

All this stuff with Apple and the deliberate slowing down of iPhones,  I honestly can say that I have not noticed any difference in my iPhone and whilst I am not (like some) attached to my phone by an invisible umbilical cord, I do use it every day. One of my sons, for example, carries two phones around with him – his personal phone and the company phone, even at home when he is on call-out.

Well, hello there!

The temperature – apart from a couple of days – has not been too bad. Generally February is the hottest month, but  last year it was shown that the hottest month was Feb/April, so we’ll see this year. I really don’t have a lot of confidence in long term forecasts. I sometimes think they pull numbers out of a hat and use them. I was glad to see that the Kangeroos are starting to come back to the top area – and this is what can happen if you leave your gate open   :o)

Where is Noah when you need him?

 Supermarket Carpark
Supermarket Carpark

I haven’t the foggiest idea who said  “be careful what you wish for – you might actually get it” Four serious thunderstorms in less than three days. That was fun!!  A fair amount of  property damage, serious damage to crops and structural damage all across the peninsula. Port Lincoln,  at the bottom of the Peninsula,  took the brunt of the damage but we took a fair hit ourselves with damage in the city center and the major shopping center. There was  flooding all around the place – not the damage to houses and sandbag kind of flooding, but the streets and carparks were flooded with the storm drains unable to cope with the volume of water. There was also a lot of leaks in the roof of the new  supermarket and several of the new shops were partly flooded with one still closed for repair.  The

Taken at the Garden Center - Not my photograph
Taken at the Garden Center – Not my photograph

thunder abated and the lightening faded and the rain stopped and we thought it was all over. Poured again an hour after that and kept going until after midnight. That’s when much of the flooding took place. The morning was quite but by lunch it started again – another cloudburst and thunderstorm. That stopped about 3pm and we had a break until about 5pm when we got hit yet again. We had a shorter, smaller storm the following morning and according to reports we had over 63mm of rain in two and a half days. Eveything is still damp and wet but the good thing – the thing we should be thankful for – is that it was thunderstorms and rain – THERE WAS NO WIND. With that amount of rain a high wind would have been a disaster –  these  gum trees would have come down like they did  some years ago. That was only light rain then but a very high wind and enough rain to loosen the soil. That would have been really serious.  So it’s all been fun and games these last few days and like me, even people who have lived here their entire life said they had never seen anything like it. Makes you thankful that we don’t have a river anywhere near here.

That's What Port Lincoln looked like - not my photograph -
That’s What Port Lincoln looked like – not my photograph –

Up here at my end of the town no flooding to speak of but the road and the gardens of the new houses are awash in water and mud. With only bare earth the workmen driving in and out – when they can – as well as people who have done nothing to the earth in the front of their houses, the area is like a giant mudbath. However it will dry out in time. At the moment when I have managed to get out with Benji, I have had to change shoes and wash his paws when we come back  for our  between storms walk.  At the moment the damage to crops is still being assessed but reports are that it could run into $$millions.