Saturday, 14 September 2019

The Difference a Few Days Makes!

Wednesday 11 September

My last post was of the magical, crystal clear, aqua seas we walked beside at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, beneath sunny blue skies. It was a hot day but unfortunately the temperature and westerlie winds were set to rise over the next few days. These conditions, along with very low humidity and tinder dry countryside, resulted in wide spread dust storms and ferocious bushfires. Our firemen were stretched to the limit and have done an amazing job of containing the danger. There were several days of respite with a change in the weather, but this weekend we are again on full alert for the worst to happen.

These conditions are not just confined to the area I live in, but also for far too much of Eastern Australia. The summer rain outlook is not promising. Thunderstorms are forecast for October. They will only bring isolated downpours and carry the threat of lightning strikes setting off new blazes. Fingers crossed.

Dust storm footage - Brisbane skyline.
 [Rebekah Powell]

Gold Coast skyline
 [ABC News]
Main Beach
 [Tim Marsden]

The first destructive fire in the Gold Coast hinterland destroyed the 85 year old Binna Burra Lodge, rainforest retreat.

 [ABC News]

 [Aleksandar Romanov]

 [ABC News]
Binna Burra Lodge
 [Binna Burra Lodge}
 [ABC News]

 [ABC News}

Three hours west of Brisbane is the wine and fruit growing area of Stanthorpe. The drought has been so extreme for them over the past year that water is soon going to have to be trucked in.  Bush fires soon broke out here with more devastating effects. Note the spring blossoms struggling on the fruit trees.
 [Ashley Smith]

 [Thomas Day]

 [ABC News - Damian Larkin]

 [ABC News, Stephen Cavanagh]

Then, two children, 15 and 12 set off an inferno at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast.
 [Ronnie Stanton]

 [Wavell Bush Photography]

 [ABC News]

Night view of Peregian from Coolum.
 [ABC Brisbane]

Day view of same fire.
                                                    [Ben Bylett - Sunshine Photography]

The big guns have arrived.
 [Ronnie Stanton]

A little further south at Lansborough, more devastation.
 [Glasshouse Mtns, Rural Fire Brigade}

The heartbreak is not just for humans but for our charred rainforests, hiking trails, birds and animals.
[I think, ABC News]

 [Lee James]

 [QLD Police service]

A little hope but not soon enough. Seen today.

This Wednesday, the plan for the Hungry Hikers was to attend a "Fire in the Botanical Gardens" event. This was postponed to the coming week, but has now been cancelled. 

A new plan had to be arranged. We met at Mowbray Park on the banks of the Brisbane River at 4pm and enjoyed a leisurely stroll, under the first clear skies of a week, along the southern shoreline of the river, under the Story Bridge and below the Kangaroo Point Cliffs to Southbank - 8 km. A refreshing drink was found at the historic Ship Inn. 6.16pm saw us sitting on the banks of the river in front of our wonderful Cultural Centre, to watch the  brilliant 'River of Light', laser light show. This is one of the many wonderful Brisfest, art festival events.

"This art-meets-technology water fountain, light-and-laser spectacle will illuminate the night and our river.
Following the phenomenal success of the 2018 telling of a Dreamtime creation story of the river – seen by almost 500,000 people – this new local story will again be told by Yuggera and Toorbal man Shannon Ruska working with Oracle Liquid."

The city, walking to our viewing point.


Jocelyn's  snapshots.

My take.

The walk - 9km in total.

My pics of enjoying the Citycat ferry ride back down the river, to the Mowbray Park ferry stop and our parked cars.

Ferry stop

Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

The main reach of the river.

A tad cold, but loving the wind in the hair and city lights.

Ferry pilot, Garry and his crew, added to the fun of this journey. The small domed building is old the Brisbane Custom House. 

The recently opened [well 1 year ago] the Howard Smith Wharves, beneath the Story Bridge.

Whilst loving the beauty of our wonderful river city, I am filled with sadness for the devasting impact fire and drought is having on our country and its hard working farmers.

Sunday 15 September
Our sunset and fullmoon last night, were also affected by the latent smoke of the bushfires.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. *sigh* What to say, Helen... I started to cough when I have seen the first photos and almost to cry with the following scenes.
    On a happier note, the water laser light show is a wonderful idea. Spectacular and so much better (for environment, humans, animals) than fireworks!
    Here it has been raining in the last few days. It was sad to see that after a summer that didn't even look particularly dry our groundwater levels went so much down.
    Wishing rain for your country and a happy Sunday for you! xx

  2. It's so frightening to be entering the dry seasons and need rain so badly... The light show was amazing. Hugs from up here....

  3. There are so many areas of the world on fire right now it is truly getting scary. All of the carbon sinks are being destroyed and the oxygen regime is being compromised. We are in serious trouble. A good friend of mine, born in 1926, is now in palliative care, but he commented a while ago that he doesn't think humans will be around long enough for there ever to be another generation live into their nineties - and I fear he may be right.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about the terrible wildfires your country has been experiencing. Here's hoping they are put out quickly. I'm doing rain dances for you!

  5. Lovely shots of the city lights and that moon - but oh, my heart breaks to see the shots of the fires.

  6. The wildfires are heartbreaking, and it doesn't sound as though welcome rain will fall.

    The beautiful lights on the water were a refreshing respite after the devastation of the previous photos Thinking of all the firefighters, first responders and those who've lost life and property.

  7. You left me with such mixed emotions! The colorful lights on the water is so pretty and those photos made me smile. I am so sorry to read what your part of our world is experiencing! It is devastating and I feel for everyone affected.

  8. Living in the Blue Mountains we are well familiar with bush fires, fortunately none have ever come as close to our place as the dramatic images you have posted. We are always glad when a summer passes and we have had another year unscathed. I love the river ferry rides in Brisbane.

  9. I was wondering how your fire season was going. Since I decided to quit, I haven't been in the loop. That picture of the retardant plane is amazing.

  10. Hi Helen, I see the comment I left from my phone didn't go through. I'll try again from the computer. Seeing the devastation of the fire makes me shudder. The dust and smoke and destruction are incomprehensible. Fire is a very real danger in the mountains of CO where we live. We started the summer with enough moisture but by the end of July, we were getting dry and now now we're under High fire alert. Last night, renters in our neighborhood started a huge campfire at the edge of their property right at the National Forest. We had to call the police who came and told them to put it out. Carelessness like this could start a major blaze with everything becoming so dry and leaves beginning to fall. The photos of your river trip are so refreshing. I love that photo of you all smiling. Both of us need rain! Hugs from CO

  11. I cant even speak after seeing the destruction the fires very sad!