Brian had filled the fire unit on the back of the ute and headed off in the direction of the fire. This is what farmers do, they rush off to help contain the fire front as a back up to the CFS. (Country Fire Service)
I high tailed it home from work and felt less panicked once I got here and brought the cows down from the hill, confining them in a paddock close to the house yard, hosed down the pigs and watered the garden.
We have a fire plan and have needed to action it in preparation three times in the past three years. Usually I'm here alone as Brian heads out to be closer to the fire to be useful. I'm proud of him doing that and wouldn't want to hold him back, but it also leaves me feeling vulnerable. So I keep very busy going through the routine in readiness. We stay in touch with our phones and he listens carefully to ABC radio for all the news of where the fire is heading. He also gets the first line information as he's there in the thick of things.
I packed the car with a change of clothes for each of us and my laptop. This time I packed only one pair of shoes each. It is interesting to learn just what we throw into the car when an emergency strikes, often realising how crazy some of our decisions were when we unpack after the threat has passed. Last year I packed four pairs of shoes, my filing cupboard contents, laptop and other random stuff. We in our community laughed afterwards about the stuff we all packed.
Yesterday afternoon was another one of those most horrific experiences that put the fear of life and terror into us all. The sky was black and the wind was roaring. Small pieces of black ash embers blew all around and were landing in the dry grass, on the verandah, everywhere.
Contact through Facebook to friends in various directions keeping each other informed and promising to phone each other if they see the fire front approaching. I can't put into words how comforting this contact is and was grateful when a distant neighbor offered to bring a fire unit over to help me out if the need arose.
Huge relief to hear Brian's ute coming down the road with a unit full of water and hear that he had decided it was time to stay and protect us instead of going back out again.
Yesterday we survived, but many homes, farms and stock didn't. And two people, perhaps three, lost their lives.
Today is a day of appreciation for all that we have here. To walk around doing my chores with a renewed sense of gratitude.
A few days ago I added a link to Rhonda's "Down to Earth" blog. Then yesterday I was treated with a mention on her wonderful blog. Read what Rhonda blogged about here.
I feel overwhelmed and very excited that some of her readers have come to visit my blog and left comments. It feels like I have met a new bunch of friends who think along similar lines to myself.
One comment from Liz who offered advice about my earwig problem in the vegetable gardens;
Have you tried letting your chickens go in there? Maybe if you had a pile of damp mulch off to the side it would tempt the earwigs into there which the chooks would then find. It might take a while, but might be worth a try. (Of course the chooks will need supervising too, being generally pretty destructive things!)
Her suggestion got me thinking during the night and so this morning I chased four of the girls into the raspberry patch where they got to work scratching and gobbling up earwigs from under the mulch.
Thanks Liz, I'm not able to let the chickens into other newly planted areas as yet, but your idea about having some mulch off to one side where the earwigs will learn to take shelter is brilliant. Once they have the habit of sleeping in the mulch during the day, I can let the chickens scratch at the mulch without them actually entering the garden and tender plants.
I feel like we may be onto something now.
Home baked sour dough, slathered with honey and Daisy's rich cream. A comfort food breakfast was the order of the day this morning after all the early morning chores were done.
Thanks for your visit and I hope your day is extra special, with plenty to be grateful for.