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Happy today because....

Started by Steve, April 14, 2007, 10:39:40

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SueC

I'm happy for a number of reasons today, but I'll try to do this in the "three good things about today" format that's a good intro to gratitude journalling (which I did for years, but it had this tendency to turn into amazing food, amazing walking trails and various natural phenomena and hobbity interests).  The thing is, if you just start getting in a habit of picking out three good things every day, eventually you find that's not enough and you just want to write more and more, which is great because what it's really doing is training you to look for wonderful stuff you're taking for granted or that's not really getting through to you because you're living in your head etc.

For today:

1) The battery bank finally filled back up to 100% because for the first time in a long time, we had a completely sunny day.  So what, you might think, but we live off-grid and were trying to freeze >300kg of beef in the middle of the Southern winter this week, off our 12 solar panels which have to run everything.  We had a bit of trepidation about it but did manage to do this - Monday, which is when the butcher cut up the quarters and I packed the stuff, we had sun most of the day even though the forecast was cloudy.  Stroke of luck; Brett was ferrying boxes of the stuff home at intervals from the mobile coolroom (at the neighbours' who had also killed a steer, and we helped each other out; the coolroom is big enough for two), and everything was good and cold by nightfall.  And then came four mostly overcast days, which progressively drained the batteries more and more, until it got critical yesterday.  Alas, though, today was sunny and the beef is all frozen and the batteries are full again. 

2) So FINALLY I could get back to watching concert videos, hooray - and re-watched the first half of the Curætion gig, because it's been too long to just start from the middle.  Got to Step Into The Light - excellent song...

3) ...and also, it was a perfect day for drying sheets in the sun.  There's few things as lovely as getting into fresh bed linen that's been washed in rainwater to which you add a sprinkle of real lavender oil, and which is dried in sunlight and fresh air.  You don't generally need detergent to wash your bed linen, unless you are an exceptionally greasy person - every now and then maybe, but most of the time plain water and some lavender oil are just perfect.  No detergent residues, nothing nasty, just clean crisp fresh heavenly sheets that smell of flowers and sun.  I banned synthetic fabrics from the bedroom long ago - natural fabrics are so much nicer - linen is great, as is flanellette cotton.  I'm sure hemp and bamboo would be wonderful too, but I've only seen those as shirts and socks respectively where I am (and can highly recommend both).
SueC is time travelling

SueC

Happy today because we did our annual mountain climb in honour of Brett's birthday, which is actually tomorrow, but today was his day off.  Considering how tired we've been, it was a minor miracle we managed to drag ourselves out of bed this morning to do this, but we had a fabulous day, and have recovered well.

We headed for Mt Hassell, in the Stirling Ranges - it's always the birthday person's choice.  Good choice.  The Stirling Ranges had a horrific wildfire in the summer gone by - a very hot fire that ripped through much of the National Park.  It's nice to see the flora beginning to recover - Australian sclerophyll is very fire-adapted - but with such an extensive and hot burn, the fauna will be having a hard time with recovery, and a few more extinctions are quite likely as a result unfortunately.  This is mostly because for the past 200 years, Aboriginal people have been off the land post-dispossession, and they previously managed the sclerophyll actively by doing small-patchwork, mostly cool burning (Brett and I do exactly this in the on-farm nature reserve we steward), which reduced the fire hazard through reduction of fuel loads as well as the heterogeneity in the landscape creating buffer zones instead of a large area with equally high fuel loads.  It also suited the native fauna very well - Tim Flannery (Australian ecologist) reckons one of the main reasons for the horrific rate of mammal extinctions in Australia is the removal of the Aboriginal fire management patterns - and obviously, large-scale clearing of native vegetation for agriculture and "development" - but I digress.

We hope you enjoy the following photos of the climb - and if you want to see the full set, just click on any photo to take you to the Flickr photopage.

The earth was tilting strangely when we got there:



Our dog Jess loves going on outings like this.



It was cold today, with a gale blowing, but I much prefer that to heat...it's so much easier to dress for it.  We had to hoist the dog up a couple of rock faces when we got to the spire, but that's OK too - at eight she's getting middle aged and appreciates the assistance with hard scrambles.  Just like I appreciate keeping my joints warm, lately of the hands as well, with the right layers, and an electric blanket at night - nobody likes arthritis, but these tricks are very helpful.  The dog, by the way, sleeps in the warm house, on her personal sofa.

This is Kingia australis, and it's producing seed heads like mad because it's trying to get the next generation into the ground after the fire - now that there's space and light, and nutrients available from the ash:



I'm still smiling because the walk hasn't actually killed me:



Kingias in front of Mt Hassell spire:



Brett with Kingias, on the ridge.  These were totally burnt black and what you see is half a year's regrowth of their leaves, plus new seed heads.  If you look closely, you can see how the prior leaves were burnt off just below the new leaves - the black "beard" is their remains, burnt short and blackened.  Kingia stems grow around 1.5cm a year, so you can work out how old these plants are if I tell you Brett is 173cm tall! :angel



Final ascent:



Brett and Jess back on the ridge on the descent, with Mt Trio to the left in the background (a really nice one to climb in spring because it's bursting with Darwinias and other amazing wildflowers only found in this area).



And for comparison, three photos from the same mountain trail, a few years ago, also mid-winter, before the wildfire:





SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

...the working week has ended (but I didn't have much work anyway).

...something else has ended (been paying something by installments).

...it's not too hot yet (but that might come over the weekend & next week).

... someone brought me a small package, which the parcel service had just left at his door (wrong street, same house number); good to see there's honest & nice people around!
If only I'd thought of the right words...

SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on August 07, 2020, 13:51:57... someone brought me a small package, which the parcel service had just left at his door (wrong street, same house number); good to see there's honest & nice people around!

Yes, this kind of thing is very encouraging when it happens!  :smth023
SueC is time travelling

SueC

OK, I'm very happy today because everything we missed out on due to me going "splat" badly yesterday, we managed to do today.  We just had to do it during gale-force winds and between storm fronts, instead of in sunny weather - but it turned out that the photography was much better because of it.  Check out the wild seas down at Lights Beach today!  The ocean was pushing the water one way, and the wind was pushing it the other, with very spectacular results.











And one walking back to Monkey Rock:



Full set at Flickr as usual.

PS:  I just wrote up this walk here - includes an account of waxing lyrical over a strawberry-custard tart...
SueC is time travelling