Latest post: Military Insignia on gravestones
Latest post: Military Insignia on gravestones
This is an article on the symbolism of clasped hands engraved on a headstone. I think it’s kind of romantic…
Sydney (and indeed most of the east coast of Australia) has shed itself of sunshine and blue skies in exchange for monsoonal hues of grey. It seems we’ve swapped the deadly heat and bush fires of last week for rain, rain and more rain. Some parts have gale-force winds too, but they haven’t reached Sydney as yet (thankfully). The rain on its own is peaceful. It’s the wind that gives it an edge of violence.
We managed a fine Australia Day for which the nation is always happy about. Parties, BBQs, concerts, and fireworks aren’t nearly as enjoyable when it’s wet. I work in events and Australia Day is our busiest period. We are all ecstatic that the weeks/months of hard work to present outdoor concerts, market stalls and fireworks have not been spoiled. Last year, we had to end the concert early because of rain. A few years ago, we had to cancel fireworks due to a total fire ban and gusty winds. Over the last 12 years, I’ve spent Australia Day sweating, shivering, wet, dry, heat affected, and covered in a fine film of salt and sand (our main concert is on a beach). The common denominator over the whole period is sore feet and exhaustion. This year, I coordinated a smaller section of the day which was entirely indoors. I escaped the weather, but not the sore feet.
This rain is meant to see January out and welcome February in. Our hottest and driest time of year is seems to be turning into our wettest. I wonder if it’s a result of the drought breaking. Surely, years of extreme drought can not be washed away in just one season of rain (that being last summer). It must have longer reaching effects than that. Perhaps, we only think that January & February are hot and dry because during the drought, they were. I can’t really remember what the seasons were like before that; except that Christmas is traditionally overcast and often showery.
Weather is much too complex and the patterns too varied to be completely predictable.
Let’s just appreciate the rain while we have it. Hope we don’t get too much wind. And pray that those people caught in the floods up north find safety and a dry place to lay their heads tonight.
I plan to spend the last remaining hours of our Australia Day weekend, skimming through notes, working on a story, and then perhaps curling up on the sofa with a cup of coffee and a good book listening to the rain outside.
Here’s a new blog a few of you might be interested in. Especially, if you’re into genealogy or heritage cemeteries
Read Travelling Bag’s blog and support Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign.
I’ve had a few weekends free for the first time in years and have been cramming in a few photographic walks around my local area. I live near bush, rivers and creeks, and the ocean so there’s plenty to see.
My first trip was to a relatively disused railway station in the Royal National Park. A week prior there had been some bush fire hazard reductions (burn-offs) that went right up to the railway line. We’re expecting a fairly hot summer and last summer was quite wet so with all the lovely new growth currently drying out quickly, there’s lots of potential for bushfire over the next few months.
The station was a 20-minute walk away from where I parked my car; that is if you’re not stopping every 30 seconds to take photos. It took me nearly an hour! Needless to say, visitors to the station are in passing only. There’s another nice walk quite nearby that overlooks the Hacking River – next time.
Rawson Parade is the grandly named firetrail that follows alongside the railway line. The trail is bumpy and not sealed but wide enough for a firetruck to drive along if necessary. It’s open for walking, jogging, bikes and, I suppose, horses only and is quite popular with all of those except maybe horses (at least, I didn’t see any riders within my hour and a half wander).
I could walk to Rawson Parade from my house, but I’m incredibly lazy and didn’t fancy walking through quite so much burnt out bush. A taste was all I wanted. After all, I’ve lived in the area for most of my life and have been up close and personal with plenty of burning and burnt trees.
Kangaroo Tails are a native grass type plant with long narrow and sharply pointy leaves, and have the flower stem growing from the middle. The stem grows quite tall and is usually black, hence, looking just like a kangaroo tail sticking up in the air, or a spear depending on which generation you’re from and how politically correct you are. The plants grow quite old and an advanced-age specimen is worth far more than I care to spend on a plant. Start thinking in the hundreds and you’d be close.
I have no idea what kind of tree produced this stump, but it’s bark had become an amazing, crackled patchwork with each section a different shade of brown.
While fire is generally seen as destroying, here in Australia, many of our native plants need the flames for the species to survive. Fire strips back the branches and leaves, removes the tangle of undergrowth and leaves behind the essence of the tree. A blackened form you’d think couldn’t possibly have survived the carnage. Until it rains.
Come next spring, these burnt offerings will be covered in new growth. Give it a few seasons and the casual observer might not even realise that fire had burnt an area out. I’ve seen the apparent devastation of fires much worse than these controlled burn-offs and watched, season by season, as it all grows back.
It seems that there is just no stopping nature.
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