Saturday, September 25, 2004

sumer is icumen in

Even though it is still only September, the smell of bushfires is in the air, the smoke haze creeps up from the horizon like a slowly-closing dome. Some of it comes from backburning, but there are also sure to be those fires started by someone stupid enough to throw a cigarette butt from a car window or by the odd act of arson.

They're not as bad as the fires we experienced in Sydney a couple of years ago, when burnt leaves drifted ten kilometres to fall on our lawn, where around tv news times there would be a procession of helicopters passing overhead on their way to catch their fifteen seconds of flame, where the orange ball of the sun would appear on our floor caused by the extremely thick haze creating some sort of camera obscura.

It hasn't rained for a long time. There is even less water in the lagoons than when I last wrote about it three or so months ago. The small lagoon on the main road just before it leaves the city is totally dried up although the birds remain because people still stop there & feed them. Much of the lagoon in the Botanical Gardens has dried up, although ironically there is now lush green grass that has sprung up in some parts sparked by the moisture that still remains. The Yeppen Yeppen lagoon close to our house still has water, but there are only a couple of pelicans, some ducks & some herons taking advantage of it. Most of the birds seem have to headed for the Woolwash lagoon, a few kilometres south, usually the haunt of the black swans but now they have been joined by several hundred small black shags & a hundred or so pelicans.

So dry. & the land seems to have little slope to it. But if you drive the road that traces a semicircle about five kilometres outside the city there are floodways that are 600 metres wide.


Martin Edmond said...

Bloody dry here at Pearl Beach too Mark - reservoir at 25% capacity & locals forbidden to Water their Lawns ...

chris said...

Thanks, Mark, for the detailed exposition about the moment and place--it really comes more clear to someone who's never been there and is curious.

Best Wishes,
Chris Murray