About a month before Christmas there was a fire north of Adelaide that burnt through thousands of hectares of crop land. Some of the fire ground is in my path as I travel to Auburn, so it has been sobering and sad to see all the destruction as I go up each fortnight. Many crops were either just due for harvesting, or had already been reaped, with hay bales left as small smouldering piles (see photo above). There were so many fences gone, and the paddocks were scorched and bare, so that by Christmas, when my sisters came up to Auburn, they were amazed by the dust storms and whirly winds. And that is not to mention the animals, houses, cars and sheds which were destroyed and the people who were killed.
It continues to be a pretty bleak run up now, but I am starting to notice that the gum trees are beginning to reshoot. What amazing trees they are, with their capacity to come back from the seeming dead. They have these things called epicormic buds that shoot from beneath the bark of the trees, and lignotubers which are suckers that shoot from the base of a tree that looks burnt beyond hope within a few short weeks of a fire. Here is more information about these processes.… And here are some shots of the new growth that I saw on the way back to Adelaide last weekend.