Friday, January 30, 2009

Summer Heat

Today is the third day in a row that Melbourne has recorded temperatures in the 40s. It's a new record apparently. Some people seem to get excited over things like that.

For me, though, I just peek out of the window every so often and watch another plant dry to a crisp. Occasionally I venture outside in the heat that is so hot and dry that you don't even sweat. So far we haven't lost any chickens, but I watch and I worry as they hang their wings and pant until they cough. There are no fire threats near us, but we are buffered in suburbia. Still I worry.

Two years ago we breathed the smoke and haze for days as the closest national park burned. It was terrifying even though we live half and hours drive away. I feared for the people who lived through it, who fought for their properties, who rescued injured animals, who saved lives. How they managed through all the smoke, I do not know. It was hard for us to breathe and we were no where near the danger zone.

Today I smell the air as I feed the chooks and while there is no smoke on it, it smells very much like it would the second before a flame erupts. Everywhere I look, I see parched and barren ground, the very skeleton of the earth baring its soul. I fear I will lose at least one of our orange trees, many of my vines are dead and gone already. Beans hang on a vine that has dehydrated beyond redemption. I suspect all I may be left with are the corn and tomatoes and the dill that scents the air as I hang out clothes that are dry before they are pegged.

When will winter come?

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2 comments:

Ken Yap said...

I really sympathise with you Victorians suffering the heat wave. Here's hoping you get a cooler spell. I shuddered when I read that it only cooled to the 30s at night. Here in Sydney I have problems sleeping if it's above 25 at night. Faced with such a heatwave, I probably would have gone for an all day marathon at the cinema like that clever Melbournite.

Climate experts reckon that these heatwaves will be more frequent in the future, sadly.

Some good news is that an academic at ANU is working on a solar powered airconditioner. In a sunburnt country like ours we really need to tap more of our energy from the sun. Enough energy falls on a roof to power a hot water system and reverse cycle airconditioner. It's infuriating how much energy is literally falling from the sky and yet we burn coal, exacerbating the situation.

PS: Nice garden blog. I'm passing your site URL on to some keen people I know.

Garden Nut said...

I'm so surpirsed solar air con hasn't been done before - it is the most logical way to go!

And thank you for your kind comments on my blog :-D