Friday, February 19, 2016

Wye River blaming...........

So the fire fighters union suggests that Lisa Neville MP was responsible for pulling a fuel reduction burn at Wye River some time before the fires that destroyed the houses that were situated there. She denies it, and I wish it was true that she considered the koalas there. It doesn't make any difference, because the fire got out of control not because of the the detritus from the trees and native plants and a fuel reduction burn that wasn't done.

The fire would have burnt through the area with a lot less damage had the houses not been massive piles of fire fuel.

The reason that Wye River went up in smoke was because the fire moved from house to house and increased in speed and intensity because of the fire fuel materials they were built from and fanned by winds, including those generated by an intense fire. The rubbish and combustibles in the yards, badly maintained house surrounds and private land around the area. Those buildings were built too close together. The trees are still standing. The houses have been destroyed. That tells the story itself. A certainty that the fire fighters union is trying to find a scape goat in the Minister. The terrain should not have had houses built there without certain safeguards.

The whole fire problem is built on the idea that fires begin in the forest, and some do, but most of the fires come off grass, and they run ahead of the wind and they destroy homes. The fire might not have been as intense had there been less houses or more space between the house at Wye River. But little of this is to do with the houses or anything else. It's climate change that we have sown and now we reap.

It's a beat up by the fire fighters who want to have someone to blame. Fire fighters should know better as they have seen houses light up and burn, in many instances before the fire can be brought under control. There is no forest in play in those situations either.

The Wye River example of Christmas 2016 is going to be a benchmark of sorts.

People who want to live in the Australian forest are going to have to take their chances with the way climate change is progressing and no one doing anything about it. It is also going to be dangerous if those forest dwellers don't keep the areas round their houses tidied up.

The Australian forest has lost most of its burrowing and soil foraging animals through predation by the feral introduced companion animals and the work done by land owners. So the forest floor is now just a bed of fire fuel round houses located amongst trees. Houses burn much better than trees and though the trees survive the houses become ash.

We have to learn to live with the animals of the forest and keep the bandicoots, wombats, potoroos and other animals in a quantity that will ensure their foraging forays throw some soil onto the leaf litter. This will assist in breaking it down over time as well and keeping it moist.

We can not any longer be the only occupants of forested areas, or we can, but at our peril.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No More Live Cattle Exports....

A class action which appears to be spurred on by Bob Katter and was apparently brought on by Emily Brett makes on wonder how any cattle producer, who say they care about their beasts and their welfare, would want to get on board.

This is so cynical. Especially after the pictures of cruelty and torture to animals in the abattoirs overseas were exposed before the live cattle trade was suspended. So it's true, that cattle producers do care more for money than the welfare of the animals they sell. Out the gate, out of mind.

There is nothing much that can be said about this other than, greed has taken the lead and cattle producers really don't care about their cattle once they leave the farm gate, nothing else can be assumed, nothing else is more certain.

The live cattle trade should have been stopped and never allowed to restart. Cruelty should never be rewarded.

It was the cattle producers who abandoned their duty of care. The government was too weak to stop the trade.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

More Madness............

The Victorian state government is going to start handing out long term 20 year logging licences, and we all shake our collective heads. What a madness and why? Because the minister Peter Walsh is from the Nationals and apparently his spin is that what he wants to do with this will provide “greater resource certainty” for the timber industry. As if that matters at all.

The five year plans had the timber industry cutting down trees with the same certainty they did when longer contracts were available, and 20 year contracts will only cause grief for the people of the state when they decide, as they must, that this malevolent harvest must cease before any contracts have run their allocated term. The current minister, reading from the Liberal sheet of excuses, that the previous Brumby government neglected the industry, and stifled investment is quite incorrect.

According to the Department of Primary industry figures here []:

[quote]The gross value of log production of the Victorian native timber industry in 2008-09 was $131 million, accounting for around 23 per cent of Australia’s native timber industry.[end quote]

That hardly appears like a stifling amount, especially when we see that this was 23% of the native timber harvested in Australia. That looks rather bad enough, and this from 5 year contracts and labelled as a sustainable timber industry?

So what does a sustainable timber industry really mean:

  •  that the amount of timber taken in a year is replaced in that same year in another location one presumes. By allocating more land to be retained as forest
  •  that the forest is replenished as it was and no more areas are denuded than are increased elsewhere
  •  that the understorey that helps to maintain and sustain the forests is also replaced at the same rate that it's destroyed
  • •that the native animals dispossessed and killed are also replaced and replenished elsewhere, [because they are not transported to new country where there is no competition from humans or other animals, birds and reptiles]
  •  that the native animal habitat is replaced in another location is just as fecund and fruitful as the area where the latest years harvest and destruction was perpetrated?

If this is correct then we have nothing to worry about. It does seem fanciful and its certain this is not happening.

A long term timber harvesting contract is pretty precarious at the moment. Because if the trend continues as it seems to be heading, to try to make the environment receive as much consideration even if not action as it should, or even more than it has in the past. The Victorian government and the minister administrating and pushing for this, is going to have to live up to their promise of considering compensating the industry if their licences are cancelled, as they will be, with tax payers money.

The madness of this government is well known. They are all for the icing on the cake and care not how thick that might be even if the cake beneath it cannot support the lavish destruction they pile onto it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Old bones.........

Reading various works on studies that have been done on animals, plants and such things that we see today, find reference and discussion on skeletons of those that are related to the animals of today in the past. What relevance to what we see now does this have? What does it matter that antelopes might have been tree climbers and meat eaters in a time past, if this was discovered? People write about the times on the earth 20 million years ago as if they were there and walking round, or flying their aircraft over the land and water of that time. Yet they couldn't have been there, and they are only working with what they know today by transposing it onto the soil, skeletal and moisture samples that they find, and declare to be so old or so ancient or whatever comes into their modern day reasoning. It proves what?

So what does this do other than justify the existence of people who are employed to do this digging and searching to satisfy their own curiosity first, and then generate the curiosity for the general public so they get money to do more of this work. The general public who are led to believe all this theory without any real proof they can establish themselves, telling them that it was actually so. Should we do anything with this study do we need to know these things and what relevance does it have to our world today or our lives at any time over the period that we can remember, or to any following generations. It appears to be of no use other than bulk out the books written about species we know today. It creates a history without any meaning and no certainty of accuracy.

The professors and other spout this information and are labeled as being very clever, not because they discovered this themselves, but because their memory is such that it retains what they read and believe, no matter if it is in some future time debunked. Even when debunked it just sets off another spiraling set of theories that could apply yet change nothing in the world at all. It is a rarefied environment which has certain people discussing ideas and theories that lead nowhere. Sadly the use and purpose of this generated knowledge just accepted and is never questioned by those of us to whom it's fed. The money used to discover this theoretical past could be better applied to study and research what is actually happening on the planet today. Forget the bones of animals long gone and look at animals of today so we can better understand them and their needs for survival.

Maybe researchers of the future will dig up and study the bones and other skeletal forms of animals that were on the planet even as we were ourselves. But which weren't studied and allowed or even actioned to become extinct. Thereby those future curious diggers and researchers will also find money to justify their employment. What a waste of resources.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Bright Takeaway.......

It appears opportune and necessary to once again mention the Bright Takeaway. The food is of a very high standard and the proprietors make a huge effort to ensure their food is of the best quality. Some years ago I wrote that this establishment prepared and served fish and chips, especially fish as good as any place south of Eden and that has not altered. The quality of the food has not slipped at all. It is still the best fish and chips, equal to Eden though it's far from the sea.

Whenever we are in Bright, barring few occasions we indulge ourselves in buying our lunch from the Bright Takeaway and we have never been presented with a meal that wasn't a pleasure to consume from that establishment. I would recommend it most highly, as I have before, some years ago.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Morning in Spring...

When I wake and walk out into the main area of the cottage, which has no
internal doors and the walls are filled with bookshelves. I noted as happens
every morning for the last month, Digby's head come out from under the
blanket and cushions on the couch surveying the area round about trying to
locate me. Being a wombat, even though a baby, he relies mostly on his
hearing and sense of smell, and as I get dressed he homes in to the sound of
this or any movements which cause the floor boards to creak. Then runs in the
direction of these movements or noise with obvious joy and expectation of
finding what he suspects, which is me. I play with him in the spare room for
a while, allowing him to attack the cushion supplied for this purpose and
then flop on his back and permit me to scratch not only his tummy, but his
sides and back as well. Then he is up again, running in figure 8 circles and
attacking the cushion, and flops on his back again and so it goes for 20 or
more minutes. But I can't play all morning - he must get out to feed and I
must feed the poultry.

This morning the wind is fierce as it travels along the road at the bottom of
the hill, flaying the trees that line it. Rosella's are scarce, possibly
because of the waving branches, and they leave the seed I have placed for
them on the bird platform lay as it has been put down. The Pekin bantams run
toward me as I broadcast seed for their enjoyment, and Zoe our half grown
poddy lamb comes and feeds with them, picking up individual seed off the

The wind here today has travelled down from the north, through the dry desert
centre of the continent, picking up and playing with the heat that was
radiated from the sand at the point where it was hottest, where it met the
rays of the sun. This zephyr played for a while, carrying the heat as it
headed south, into the more moist areas and states and to where the land
meets the sea. It moved below the clouds leaving them undisturbed and
gathered strength on it's journey and when it reached the mountains here in
the south eastern corner of the country it was like dragons breath, hot but
sweet from the lands it had explored.

Carrying the crushed maize and the water into the paddock where the goose and
her gosling are in a pen that keeps them both out of harms way which is a
hungry fox, I see there are 20 Australian wood ducks on the almost dry dam
wall. Flitting amongst the apple and Tagasaste trees there are all manner of
wrens and honey eaters taking advantage of the shelter from the hot wind
which becomes tamed as it partly penetrates shield of trees around and in the
dam orchard. It's a dry, but still wonderful spring.
The cold touch of winter is on the bare skin, invigorating and not unwelcome. Autumn is relinquishing it's hold on this speck of dust where we live in the universe and slowly moving on. There is much yellow in the landscape and some red as well, a yellow, red landscape on a green background, constantly changing, the yellow and red increasing for a time then decreasing and finally gone, only the grey green hillsides remaining to enchant our senses. The yellow and red are the European trees settling in to rest, the eucalypts are as ever grey green with some sprouting light green foliage that will also carry the flower buds for next years generation of their kind. The blossom will mean nectar for the bees, and honey for the beekeepers. Not all eucalypts are growing or budding, each is a different type and each needs different stimuli to grow and bud.

Jake, one of our recently released wombats is sojourning under the cottage this morning. He has dug a burrow under the concrete slab, it's one of his places to sleep during the daylight hours, he has several burrows over the hills, and he stays in them all, over a period of weeks. Percival will be next to go out into the wider world, and Titch and Sebastian have a way to go yet, another 12 or so months before they are released back into their land and forest, which they share with us.

There is a lot of feed about for the native animals at the moment, kangaroos and wombats are well fed on green grasses of various kinds and the possums must be finding plenty to eat as well, because they're not coming in to harvest the ripe or ripening apples which are dragging down the branches of the parent trees.

The older hens have stopped laying and the young pullets are just beginning to lay and will supply our eggs over winter. The sheep are fat and the wool has been sent away to be sold. We have a pantry full of preserved fruit and though no goats yet, have found a supplier of goats milk. The mountain is free of snow still, though we don't expect that to last much longer and hope to be able to go over twice more before snow will make the journey too long and arduous with wheel chains fitted to allow us passage to our favourite town in which to do our fortnightly shop. Winter is the time we head toward the coast and the main population centre in that direction to top up with the things we need and can't supply ourselves.

There is much to do during the winter, cleaning up the areas round the shed and cottage in preparation for the summer, when we expect we will again be under some kind of threat from wild fires. We live very much in one season preparing for the next, but it's always different, always exciting wondering what the next day will bring, and what lies ahead - if we're spared.