Sunday, January 3, 2016

Last week of December - more green

 Large skink (around 12-14 cm) basking near the track.

 Cascades of new leaves from a burnt gum tree.

 New bracken is growing the most on south-facing slopes. Here it's creeping towards my favourite rocks.

 But with the bracken regrowth come the birds returning. We now have finches, wrens and wagtails in the thicker bracken, and with the fuzzy new growth at the tops of some trees, we have magpies, cockatoos and kookaburras as well as smaller birds.
This is, I think, a forest kingfisher, and I don't remember ever seeing one here before.

 The new leaves are determined to get out, splitting the burnt bark of the eucalypts.

 I was very happy to see lots of spots where the bosseia is regrowing at the north end. This had become a widespread ground cover with bright, deep yellow flowers in spring. Glad it's making a comeback.

Already with the bracken growing, some of the burnt, fallen and broken trees are being hidden.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Two months on ...

 First signs of life returning.

 Bracken re-emerging quite thickly in some parts (like here) but in other parts it's still bare and black.

 New growth from the trunk of a burned tree - as beautiful as a vanilla lily to me!

 This is the best bit - resprouting at the tops. Nearly all the leaves have died and dropped now, and we have no shade. It was noticeably hotter on Saturday because of this.

Of course some inhabitants just stayed below ground and have now rebuilt their houses and are open for dining!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

After the bushfires - 14 November

 Looking across to the hills from near Lancefield - it's easy to see where the fires were now as the tree canopy dies and drops leaves.

 Most trees have now lost more than half of their leaves, but there is a fuzz of new bracken in patches here and there.

 This area probably has the most bracken right now.

 In other places it's just a few plants. In most areas it's still bare. The north side of the property is the only place where grass is growing well, and at the bottom of a couple of gullies. More rain would be good.

Very happy to see several of these on the south side - vanilla lilies!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

7 November

It doesn't matter how optimistic I try to be, when I go for a walk and all I see is this, it's hard.

 With no undergrowth, I've been finding small rubbish dumps from previous owners. Some relics go back more than 50 years.

 Yes, the bracken is fighting back.

 Heavy rain over the past week has washed a lot of ash and leaves into great heaps and lumps everywhere. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. We'll see.

 Today I saw a lot of this in different places. I think it's a form of fungus. The orange stuff is spongy and fungus-like.
Not sure if this is normal after a bush fire?

A large tree that has fallen in the past couple of weeks, burned out inside.

This is lovely to see - one of the microclimates of spongy grass and mossy underneath. It's at the base of a gully that funnels a lot of rain through, and when it's really wet, you can see the water running. This is the only area that survived the fire, and is now the first to come back and look really green. Most of the other gullies are also showing signs of green along their bottom areas.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

31 October

 A roo comes close to the house but not game to venture as far as the remaining grass.

 Some animal desperate enough to eat the few fungi that have popped up through the ash.

 Bracken starting to emerge.

A couple of small areas have the beginnings of grass coming back.
Good rain this weekend so we'll see what effect it has.

25 October

 Burned out trees falling.

 Burned-dry leaves falling.

 Mat-rush trying to start a come-back.

Some trees burned to the bottom of their roots.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

17th October

 Nine days after the fire and everything is still burned and black, of course. Has there been rain? Maybe a little...

 Lots of dead and fire-singed and browned/dried leaves falling now. A bit like brown snow...

 Then in just a few spots, some small signs of life. Grass pushing up and some shoots from tussock grass.

 Two echidnas burrowing under burned logs for bugs to eat.

 Strangely, some fungi determined to put its head up.

A few kangaroos and a wallaby sighted. They don't at this point appear to be fire-injured. We've put out water and lucerne (lucerne on advice of wildlife rescue).

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