It is winter down under and a little chilly in the evenings. But not as the northern hemisphere know it. On June 16th to 20th it made headline news here when the temperature dropped to 4C. (Ok I can hear all you Northerners sniggering “you call that cold”) But those night-time temperatures were followed by crisp, scintillatingly clear days and the temperatures rose to mid 20’s.Early morning this strange cloud formation hung around for a while. But see the blue sky waiting to take over. By the time I went to do the grocery shopping it had cleared. As I drove past Pelican Lake I had to stop. The sky was a pristine azure blue and without the slightest breeze the lake was like a mirror. I always carry my camera with me and this was a perfect photo moment.This is the Lake at the end of the street that has often featured in sunset shots (here and here) I sat for a while and absorbed the calm, peaceful view. I was not the only one enjoying the moment I think these 2 blokes had come down for their breakfast. If you look closely you will see what looks like bowls of cereal on the table. Looking around I noticed this woman giving the magpies their breakfast too…Magpies are very friendly birds and I love their song. I felt happy after the short stop and drove away thinking “I must do a painting of that scene”.
Sunset is now at 5-01pm and there are many beautiful sunsets at this time of the year. This photo was taken from the back deck looking over the garden toward the Hinterland.
Notice on the left hand top corner of the sky a dark purple haze. This is smoke from the “cool fire burn-offs” that take place at this time of the year.
“Operation Cool Burn is a key period when Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has a particular focus on bushfire mitigation. Most years, this period starts at the beginning of April and is normally scheduled to finish at the end of July”
This is to reduce the under growth to manageable proportions so that in summer during bush fire season, fires can, hopefully, be easier to contain and decrease the severity of wild fires.
Before Europeans arrived in this country the Aborigines used a form of controlled burning to help control the growth and use of the land.
There are only a handful of detailed observational studies of the ecology of Aboriginal fire usage, and all from northern Australia, so there is dispute whether their findings can be extrapolated in the south. These studies demonstrate skilful use of fire that created fine-grained burn patterns, designed to promote food resources.
For instance, a prime motive for burning savannas is attracting kangaroos to nutrient-rich grass that sprouts after the fire. In the desert, Aboriginal patch burning increases the habitat for sand goannas.
In sum, there is mounting evidence that sustained Aboriginal fire use shaped many Australian landscapes by sharpening vegetation boundaries, maintaining open vegetation, and creating habitat for game species.
Such skilled burning reduced the extent and intensity of fires, allowing fire-sensitive plant communities – such as those in the Tasmanian wilderness – to persist in flammable landscapes. (Read more here)
Today the weather is overcast and I’m hoping there is rain on the way.