Monday, 2 February 2009

I am but mad north-north-west

… because that's the direction of the hot winds in southeastern Australia. We've just been through a scorcher of a week, with maxima in the mid-40s and minima not far below that. Over three consecutive days, the temperature inside my house did not drop below 35C. The worst is over in Melbourne and other coastal areas of Victoria, with sea breezes pushing backing the blast furnace northerlies but folk on the other side of the range are still suffering.

With the heat comes bushfires. Some of those burning in South Gippsland were deliberately lit last week by an arsonist, whereas the others appear to have been started by lightning strikes. The Delburn Complex fires have already destroyed more than two dozen houses. Fortunately, no one has been killed. Once again, I'm endlessly impressed by everyone fighting these fires, especially the Country Fire Authority.

The consequences of the heatwave have been rather trivial at my place. I went troppo*, the kitchen filled with heat affected earwigs and many of the garden plants cooked to a crisp. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll survive. All we need now is some rain. Tony, can you send us some?

Fronds of a cabbage palm (Livistona australis) dried by the sun

Even the kurrajong (Brachychiton discolor) couldn't resist the heat.


* So what exactly is odd about suggesting that a hollowed out watermelon would make a useful hat for keeping your head cool? When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.


Sherrie Y said...

Ick! Ick! A thousand times ick! Unrelenting heat would make me mad, mad, mad... no matter WHAT direction it came. A wilting wimp, that's me. And earwigs? Double ugh. Creepy little buggers.

Snail said...

A friend who lives in Darwin was hooting with laughter (as much as you can on email) because that town was the coolest state capital last week. (You know who you are.)

Earwigs have gone. Evicted. Replaced (unintentionally) by cockroaches. Nice native ones but, still, I could do without them.