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Weekend Wanderings – Kinglake Reminds Us

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In Australia Summer starts on the 1st of December, and while we tend to think of summer as hot weather, beaches, sand, barbecues, water, flies and snakes there is something else that usually happens that none of us want to think about, bushfires.  There are always fires here,  somewhere.  It is the unfortunate reality of a country like Australia, there will be fires, and we just hope they aren’t anywhere near us and that the loss of life will be nil or close to that. The other day I was back up in Kinglake taking another look at how the bush area there is growing and I also went to some areas that I hadn’t been to before.

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In February it will be 6 six years since the worse bushfires in Australian history, the Black Saturday fires.  It all happened, pretty much, in one day, 173 people lost their lives and 2100 homes were destroyed, and it is something that none of us ever want repeated.  Now, 6 years later the communities are still rebuilding and the only place where you can still be reminded of the fires is the bushland.  The new trees are growing, but the dead wood of the burned trees still dominant over the landscape.

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Kinglake was one of the worst affected areas with the fires decimating the surrounding area.  The bushland around Kinglake, the national park, was completely destroyed,  most homes around it were as well.

I love going back and watching how the area is slowly growing back, one day you will hardly be able to see the dead trees sticking up out of the canopy.

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There are already areas that have regenerated enough that it is almost impossible to tell that the fires went through there.

So I thought I would dedicate this post to the bushfires and the victims as a reminder to all of us that we need to be vigilant and that we need to be very careful, especially anywhere where a fire could start.  The black Saturday fires were close to home for me, they stopped less that 30 kms from my home, and if the wind hadn’t changed when it did, well, a lot more people would have been homeless.

This is what summer in Australia can be, it is part of what happens here and we have to be prepared for it.  I should apologise, I didn’t mean it to be a morbid post, but more a reminder of what was and what is now.

I’ve seen some photos of the snow storm that has hit part of the states, and I hope everyone there is safe and sound. I also hope the snow has stopped.  Take care if you live there, Amy if you are reading this, I mean you.  So I will leave you with a gallery now, my reminder of what can happen, but also how much we recover and move on.

66 Comments
  1. love the upward angles. very dramatic

    November 22, 2014
    • Thank you, I was trying to get that tree in the air feel.

      November 22, 2014
  2. Bless you, Leanne, for the link. It is exhaustion and nerves right now that I am contending with. We are preparing for the next onslaught which is a rise in temperatures that are going to create flooding. The last I heard the Governor has spoken to the President and we are looking like we are going to get Federal aid, FEMA. To read about something like this, or to see something like this on TV you just don’t comprehend. Living through it as I am, is tremendously stressful. I cannot listen to the news anymore because more and more roofs are caving in. My next door neighbor had a gas leak today. It’s one thing after another. We are in the process of getting everything up off the basement floor in case we get flooded. Where will 90″ of snow go when it melts? This is just crazy. Again, I thank you for the link, and I ask that ALL who click on the link please pray for all who live here in WNY. This is a very dangerous situation. Love, Amy

    November 22, 2014
    • I find it hard to comprehend Amy, but I wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and I hope everything is okay there. It never occurred to me what would happen with the snow, I hope the flooding isn’t too bad. Take care and don’t do anything risky.

      November 22, 2014
      • Bless you, Leanne, and thank you. I promise not to do anything risky. I would like to document the floods but I may not be able to get out of my home. I am taking this as it comes. Love, Amy

        November 22, 2014
      • I think it would be amazing if you could, the photos you have been taking have been amazing, a great record, but I agree, don’t put your life in danger, if you can get some images that would be wonderful, but if you can’t, we will understand.

        November 22, 2014
      • As I have told others, I will do my best to keep recording this storm. Our home sets on higher grounds so I might be able to get outside to shoot. This time I want to take pics with my Canon. I’ll see. It all depends on a lot of factors. Love, Amy

        November 22, 2014
      • Sounds like a good plan Amy, I hope your house stays dry, so to speak.

        November 22, 2014
  3. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    The perspective on those trees are great! They almost look lacy. 🙂

    The snow you mentioned is north of here – we got none at all. My husband is preparing nonetheless.

    November 22, 2014
    • I like the idea of lacy Jackie, thank you.
      From what I have gathered it all happened in one place, scary. I can’t believe they are now waiting for floods.

      November 22, 2014
  4. Not only are these (as usual!) great photographs, but the advertisement on your site was exactly what I was looking for 🙂

    November 22, 2014
    • Thanks Marilyn, what was the advertisement? It is different for everyone.

      November 22, 2014
  5. Beautiful! 😀

    November 22, 2014
  6. Nature can be harsh at times. And yet it always brings beauty back. A beautiful collection of photos Leanne.

    November 22, 2014
    • Thank you Colline, and I agree, nature can be harsh, though the fires, we have a lot to do with how bad they are, powerlines and idiots are often the cause.

      November 22, 2014
      • It makes it worse when the fires are caused by man, doesn’t it?

        November 22, 2014
      • Most definitely, it is the people who deliberately light them that I don’t get. Crazy.

        November 22, 2014
  7. Had no idea of the hugeness of the situation in NY. It’s on my prayer list! And yes no sad losses with bush fires this year. Love the images

    November 22, 2014
    • Yes, it is quite a major problem there, though only for a small space, if that makes sense, seemed to happen in one spot. Thanks Wendy.

      November 22, 2014
  8. love these bush photos Leanne especially the ones reaching up to the wonderful skies in all that flowing laciness!! Beautiful!!

    November 22, 2014
    • Thanks Cybele, I love the sticks in the air, like the last remnants of the fires.

      November 22, 2014
  9. You have some extremely interesting shots in your portfolio. I love the upshots of the trees against the sky. How clever you are. 🙂

    November 22, 2014
    • Thank you so much Orples.

      November 22, 2014
      • Thank you for sharing your talent. 😉

        November 22, 2014
      • 😀

        November 22, 2014
  10. I remember driving through the hills around Kinglake 3 months after the fires and being totally overwhelmed by emotion… stopped on the side of a narrow road, just sobbing. Some valleys still don’t look like they will ever recover, such was the intensity of the inferno. And yet, nature is so outstanding in its will to regenerate. Around the carbonised trunks and lunar landscape, bright green shoots were starting to appear around some of the limbs, and you’d get a tree furn shining bright green in the black landscape. Great photos, Leanne. I especially like the ones of the trees reaching for the sky. Chris

    November 22, 2014
    • I used to ride my bike up Kinglake, and I remember how you couldn’t really see anything, but trees, and how weird it was to look down at the bottom of the trees. Then I went for a ride up there after the fires and to say I was shocked when I saw all the trees gone and how far you could see. You could see so far, it certainly was so much more open that I remembered. I have to say going up there now, it is getting like it was before, you can’t see as much as the trees have grown to a height that makes it hard to see. It is amazing how nature comes back after a fire, it just gets on with the job. Thanks Chris.

      November 22, 2014
  11. It beggars belief that many of these fires are deliberately lit, or caused by stupid actions like throwing lit cigarettes out of car windows. Nature can manage cruelty without silly people adding to it.

    November 22, 2014
    • I know exactly what you mean Debra, it is unbelievable. I like what you said about nature, it is amazing.

      November 22, 2014
  12. Not a morbid post all at Leanne – a timely reminder of where we live and how it affects us and those around us 😊
    Im amazed to think its been 6 years since Kingslake and it is good to see regeneration happening.
    Gorgeous images and thanks for taking the time to record and share with us.
    Wishing those in the States safety too and also thinking of those here already being affected by fire here this coming summer.
    Take care one and all xx

    November 22, 2014
    • That’s good to hear Robyn, I think it is very much a part of what summer is here.
      Lots of regeneration, won’t be long before you can’t tell at all.
      Thank you Robyn and it is my pleasure to share them.
      It is scary what is happening over in the states, so incredible, big snow and then floods.

      November 22, 2014
  13. Fantastic photos, Leanne, and great writing! Job well done, as always! You and you family have a GREAT weekend! Take care! )

    November 22, 2014
    • Thank you Fabio, you have a great weekend too.

      November 22, 2014
  14. My favourite photo would have to be last one in the gallery. Yellow and green leaves growing at the bottom a sign of life. The grey sky above sort of reminding us that nature can be cruel sometimes. It has been a dry spring, we really haven’t been getting much rain this November which is worrying for those who live around bushland areas. You are right in that we have to be vigilant in the upcoming months, better to be safe than sorry. It’s so hard to predict when fires will start, if they do. I hope they don’t.

    Hope you are having a good weekend, Leanne. I’m having a quiet one, been so busy lately it’s not funny 😀

    November 22, 2014
    • It is a new plant, flowers growing at the base of the tree Mabel, there were a few of them. No not a lot, though the bushland isn’t as dry as it was in 2009 thank goodness. I hope they don’t too.
      Thanks Mabel, I’m having a lovely relaxing weekend, very nice. Quiet is good, enjoy it. 😀

      November 22, 2014
  15. Interesting article! I wish our summer started the 1st of December. It’s been ice-cold here lately! The river we live on is 1/3 frozen over. I’ll have to rely on shots from earlier in the year; most of the little animals are either dormant, hibernating, or dead.

    I think a lot of the fires in California, for instance, are deliberately started; but a large part of it is excessive dryness due to environmental changes (a large part being man-made). We all need to do more with regard to green energy and educating others to care for the sacred aspect of life and nature.

    November 22, 2014
    • Our rivers never freeze over here, it snows in some parts but not a lot. Snow is such a novelty in Australia. Our summers aren’t, they are horrible and believe you me, you wouldn’t want to go through one of ours. Lots of days over 35, or 95F, last summer we had 4 day over 40C, 104F, that was horrible and nasty and our air conditioning broke down in the middle.
      We get them deliberately lit too Thomas, you have to wonder about people who do that. Same, much of ours is caused by the same thing, the fires in 2009 were on a day of 47C, 116F and after 11 years of drought, it didn’t take much and when it went up it just raced away. We do need to do that, I couldn’t agree more. Thanks Thomas.

      November 22, 2014
  16. Its great to see the regeneration and I hope you all have a safe summer.

    November 22, 2014
    • Thank you Gypsy, fingers crossed.

      November 22, 2014
  17. Reblogged this on Through the Lens and commented:
    Wow.

    November 22, 2014
  18. Great post – the resilience of nature (and of human spirit) is remarkable

    November 22, 2014
  19. Beautiful photos! I especially love the ones where you are ‘looking up’ at them, and to be honest the black of the burnt out trees looks amazing in the pictures.
    I hope Australia doesn’t have to suffer more bush fires again this year but as I sit here sweltering (in Australia), and it is only November, I can’t help but think we will see a long harsh bush fire season 😦

    November 22, 2014
    • I know what you mean Kellie, the black of the trees does add drama and makes the trees stand out.
      I feel the same way, the early heat is not a good sign. We will have to be vigilant and careful Kellie.
      Thanks

      November 22, 2014
  20. poppytump #

    Some of those remaining trees look so slender and fragile Leanne it seems impossible that they just haven’t disintegrated on the spot . A timely post with Summer around the corner and so HOT for you folk in Australia ..

    November 22, 2014
    • It is quite strange to see what survives and what doesn’t. You see many trees with the guts of them all burnt out, but the skin is fine. Eventually most of them will fall down as new trees spring from the roots. It is Poppytump, and if the early onset of hot weather is any indication, it is going to be long and hot. thanks Poppytump.

      November 23, 2014
  21. lucywilliamspoetry #

    One good thing about living in the U.K is we don’t get these deadly extremes. I hope you all keep safe. Also I agree with Kellie about the photos of you looking up : )

    November 23, 2014
    • I wish we didn’t get them, though I think you get much colder winters than us. We should be fine Lucy, we are in the suburbs, though surrounded by lots of parkland, but they are on top of any fires very quickly here. Thank you Lucy.

      November 23, 2014
  22. gaiainaction #

    It is good to see that nature does recover, your photos are great as usual.

    November 23, 2014
    • Yes, that is one that is always the positive after a fire, you know nature will recover. Thank you.

      November 23, 2014
  23. Great photos. Yes, the land will recover and move forward again. 😀

    November 23, 2014
    • Thank you Raewyn, it is great to see that it does.

      November 23, 2014
  24. Wonderful photos.They tell a story the way pictures should.

    November 23, 2014
    • Thank you, I love that idea of pictures telling stories.

      November 24, 2014
  25. Those lower level to skyward shots have some pretty interesting effects. Very nice!

    November 24, 2014
    • Thank you, I thought they were a good way to show the dead limbs in the air, they seems to stand out better that way.

      November 24, 2014
  26. Jen #

    Really nice captures of new life shrouding the remains of what was lost in those fires in fresh loveliness. I hope something like that never happens again, either.

    November 24, 2014
    • So do we, though we know it will, but we hope that it is never this bad again. We like to think we learn from these things, but I don’t think we really do. thank you Jen.

      November 24, 2014
  27. Great post Leanne, for bushfires and the victims everywhere, touching words and also incredible photos!

    November 24, 2014
    • Thank you Dalo, it is important to think about it and keep it in mind.

      November 24, 2014
  28. Wildfires of any scale are such a tragedy for any form of life. There are places here in the States that get them every summer as well. Although we don’t like them, in a way it’s mother nature’s way of cleaning house. It would be nice if they wouldn’t happen but they’ve been occurring since well before we came around. There have been a lot of studies in areas on the benefits of wildfires and they have shown to help with some things, but other things not so much. I guess all we can hope for is to not be the victim of them when they do occur and hope for the best for those that become victims.

    November 25, 2014
    • the same sort of thing happened here, we do get fires that are caused by lightning strikes, but most of them are caused by stupid things. Having said that, the Australian Aborigines used to burn the forest a lot so help them look for wildlife, but since white settlement, that stopped, and that is the problem they get too much fuel and then when a fire does happen there is so much to burn that it is soon out of control. Though the ones that hit Kinglake were massive, and the worst fires we had ever seen, 11 years of drought, a strong, very strong northerly, and a day of 47C or 116F, it was the perfect recipe. Thanks Justin.

      November 25, 2014
  29. The looking up, up, up shots are spectacular.

    November 25, 2014
    • I think they worked really well, it was just hard to get underneath. Thanks

      November 25, 2014

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