The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. ~ Alfred Austin

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Fire and flood

Mother Nature is amazing!

She goes from one extreme to another. Just barely two weeks ago our state had a massive fire, a raging inferno in our South West. It all but obliterated the tiny town of Yarloop. It tragically took the lives of two elderly men. The firestorm wiped out virtually the whole town and the majority of homes. Yarloop is a gorgeous little town, it's where we lived for a number of years, and that's where eldest teen was brought home from hospital as a tiny newborn. It's a town my Uncle has called home for the past 23 years. We had only only been there five days prior to the devastating fire, my Uncle had been in hospital in the city since the week before Christmas and had only just been allowed back home.

We had an extremely worrying twenty four hours where we were unable to contact him. We had no idea if he had got out, if he was still at home with that inferno raging towards his home or whether he had managed to get to the local town oval and shelter with other residents. We had had conflicting reports and were going out of our minds with worry. Ten past seven the next morning I received a quick phone call from him saying he was okay and at an evacuation shelter with his dog. The best news ever.

For eight days he didn't really know whether his house was still standing or not, but finally last Friday he was allowed back in to have a look. Amazingly his house still stands while others around are burnt to the ground. He lost a shed, ute and shade house, all the mature fruit trees and other mature trees and all his fencing. He is one of the very lucky ones. He has a major health battle on his hands this year and I'm sure an Angel must have been watching over his place, to protect it. Knowing the fight he has on his hands, losing his home too would have just been too much.

My heart goes out to all the people affected by this fire. Not only did it take out Yarloop, but homes were also lost in Waroona, Hamel, Cookernup and Harvey. I have lived in every one of those towns except Harvey. It really makes you think, and take nothing for granted. That was a massive fire to affect such an area. So many people have lost so much. The way the rest of our state has got on board to help all the animals; both people's pets and wildlife burnt/lost/hurt,  which has been so distressing for so many. Items that have been donated, along with money, clothing, and tradesmen giving their time has been amazing. It really is phenomenal to see the way people pull together when there has been such tragedy.

photo from Abc News

Now to the other extreme. A series of thunderstorms and storm cells have been moving through a large part of the south western corner the last few days. All the photos below I took just five minutes down the road from our place earlier this afternoon. From Saturday evening until yesterday (Tuesday) evening we had received 20mm of rain and then last night another 17mm. Just after I got home from taking the photos it started raining here again and hasn't stopped. It hasn't been heavy, but just steady gentle rain. Some places have received in excess of 200mm. That is an awful lot of rain. My boss sent me a couple of photos of near her place as she can't get out. She lives forty five minutes out of town and they have received around the 200mm mark.

Both of my children belong to our local SES unit and had a call out Sunday night to a neighbouring town about 40klms away for flooding, but by the time they got there it had pretty much been dealt with. Another call came through at lunch time today and eldest teen had just got home from work so she went, but youngest teen couldn't go his boss wouldn't let him. This call out is more major than the other night it's to a town 50klms to our south and flooding damage to the hospital with possible partial roof collapse. Eldest teen has been gone about five and a half hours now and haven't heard anything, so imagine she is going to be gone quite awhile longer yet.

I think by tomorrow the worst of these storms are supposed to be moving east. It's so unfortunate that the rain from these storms can't be more widespread and of lesser quantity. Instead of flooding places everywhere gets just the right amount of rain that they need. But it just doesn't work like that.

I have to admit I am fascinated by storms and think the sky puts on a phenomenal show and I can't help myself but get out there and take lots and lots of photos.

My wish is that no more lives both human and animal have to be lost to the fires that now ravage the earth. Sadly I know that wish won't be granted.


  1. Dealing with extreme weather conditions is an unfortunate consequence of living in this beautiful country of ours, luckily for us there is enough good weather to make it worthwhile. I'm hoping some of that rain is making its way to South Australia because we could really use it.

  2. We have friends who live near Waroona Dam. They took us for a drive the other day it's just so devastating to see the damage the fire has caused. So glad to hear that your uncle is ok.


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