3 under 3

After the fires

Posted on: January 16, 2014

The kids and I have just come back from our 12 day visit to the Blue Mountains and NSW South Coast. It was lovely, being home again, catching up with friends and family. We visited some of our favourite people and places, and in the process realised how much we’ve been missing them.

I just felt like sharing some photos I took on the first day of our stay in the Mountains. A few months ago, some serious bush fires threatened the area, with nearly 200 houses burning down. Our old suburb escaped unscathed, apart from some last-minute controlled burning conducted by the Firies, to help reduce the threat to homes near the bush. They burnt out a large area of bush that we used to live very close to, and that Tom’s parents still live right in. The kids and I went for a walk to the look out just to see how much it had all changed.

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Only half of this tree got burnt.

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New growth springing up.

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Kookaburra feather.

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Broken branch.

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Hollow tree, all burnt out.

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Burst Banksia.

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Purple gum leaves!

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A long, black strip of ash is all that remains of a large log that used to block the path.

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Furry regrowth.

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Uncle Gareth’s tree house still standing (just).

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My favourite tree, unscathed.

We returned to Tom’s parents’ house with black feet and mixed emotions. There was some sadness at the changes to ‘our’ bush, but also happiness and even pride at how quickly the bush springs back to life afterwards. The kids were fascinated to learn that fire is actually good for many trees and plants, as it clears out the undergrowth and even helps germinate seeds. I remember feeling the same way after witnessing similar bush fires in the area as a kid. It made me realise that this stuff is all part of growing up in the bush, and while I’m obviously devastated for those who were immediately affected by the fires, I’m also glad that my kids got to experience this event, from a safe distance. Hopefully this will help them to build a healthy respect for the environment in which we live.

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1 Response to "After the fires"

It does seem hopeful, doesn’t it? All that new growth coming right back, because life finds a way. There’s a regional forested park not so far from us here that was badly damaged in a fire about, hmm, ten years ago now, and they’ve got up signage everywhere talking about the cycle of regrowth that happens after a fire and what we can expect to see with the passing years as wildlife return to the area, etc.

All the same, I’m glad your favorite tree made it out unscathed! What luck 🙂

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