Thursday, 14 November 2019

Highs and Lows

14 November

I'm sure most of my followers are well aware of the havoc and devastation the bushfires are causing over too much of Australia.

Everywhere is tinder dry and the weather conditions are such that just a spark from mowing the lawn could set off a racing inferno within seconds, aided by dry air and persistant strong winds. Fires can appear contained but the wind is carrying embers over 20 kms away and a new fire is lit.

The situation for too many is horrific but thankfully, we are not in an area of concern. Having said that, a parkland area of downtown Beenleigh was on alert yesterday. 

We just have smokey skies, heat and winds. A change in the weather occurred late yesterday so there should be some relief for the fire fighters for the present, but it is going to be a long summer with no good rainfalls predicted.

I thought I would share just a few images that show the extent of the dramas unfolding.

Meanwhile in western NSW, in the town of Bourke, they are rejoicing as rainfall has finally found them. And in Tasmania and the highlands of Victoria, snow has fallen quite heavily - most unusual for this time of year.

The sun had been up about and hour on Monday morning, when I set off at 5.45am for my morning walk with good friend Mary. These are the smokey scenes that greeted us. The smoke had been blown north from fires several hundred kilometres away.

Wednesday the temperature was expected to rise to 35C with an extreme fire danger rating. My Hungry Hiker group opted to follow city laneway trails, before meeting at the State Library for a guided tour of their latest exhibit, "Meet Me at the Paragon", the history of Greek Cafes in Queensland from the early 1900's.

'Women's Work' was the theme for the laneways. The artists were a team of independent, innovative,
resilient women, representing and promoting excellence and equality in art throughout the city. It has been written that "the artworks capture the heart of Brisbane and respond to its landscape from modern and historial perspective" - Exhibition Curator.

The blue pieces are by artist BluArt Xinja, who installs them under the cover of dark, in out of the way spots - under bridges, in trees, on top of security cameras and parapets of buildings. He is trying to bridge the gap between graffiti and authorised public sculpture / art.

To beat the heat, we met in the city at 8am. It was strange to be a part of the rushing commuter traffic.

These two unusual company names made me laugh.

Koalas in the city, but only concrete.

This is the foyer of a Government building we passed. Its amazing slide show, feature wall, drew us in. I intend to return and sit and enjoy the Australian bush scenery shown.

A very typical Aussie bush scene, as we left to find another laneway.

We passed through the weekly Wednesday markets of Brisbane Square.

Nearing the state libary - a wonderful city view. An hour later, after our guided tour, this skyline was again in a haze of smoke.

To quote Hungry Hiker Laurel, "Meet me at the Paragon uncovers the stories of Greek migrants who established cafes and milk bars in the early 20th century, carving out a new life for their families in Queensland. These establishments, like Dalby’s famous Paragon CafĂ©, became the social hubs of their communities. We joined the Curator's tour, which was very informative. The free exhibition is on until Sun 15 Mar 2020 in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery, level 4 of the State Library and well worth a visit, especially if you can remember having a milkshake in one of these cafes."

There was just time for a quick visit to Goma, our modern Art Gallery. They are at present constructing a new exhibition, titled "Water". This glimpse of what is to come, made sure that we will return in December, when it opens. 

Lunch partaken, there was just enough time to visit the QUT Art Museum hosting the Anne Wallace exhibition, "Strange Ways", before catching our train home. We needed more time to fully enjoy her canvases. 
"Her painting style is figurative, the subjects usually are everyday incidents, somehow rendered strange, unheimlich, the familiar made foreign at the same time, uncanny. Is there something sinister about the painting? or are we seeing something that is not really there? Is it something we can define? The work hints at human experience and the lights and darks and the unknown in between." - Marianne Tudor.

The Little Big House is wedged between two modern tower blocks beside Southbank Station.

All new buildings in Brisbane have to include some piece of art work. This one, beside the Little Big House, has loose metal squares that gently wave in the breeze. Today's wind created an angry sound.

Finally, a 5am viewing of the pelicans, who have returned to the golf ponds, in front of our home.

My thanks to Laurel and Jocelyn for many of the art photographs.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. The wildfire photos look much like the photos taken recently in California. Here in Kansas, we have a fire danger because of dry conditions. Thankfully, the brush fires that have broken out have been fairly easily contained here in Kansas. We could use some rain. It is rather ironic after being so wet last fall and early winter. The "spigot" has seemed to turn off. Wouldn't it be nice if we could "order" what we needed. But I suppose nobody would agree. I enjoyed seeing the photos from your tour. Of course, I loved the windmill.

    1. Yes California has been on our news too often. They must regret importing our Eucalpytus. Hard to believe that you are again watching the weather. If city folk had their way, it would never rain on the weekend. These windmills are always emotive for some reason.

  2. The scenes of the wildfires are harrowing! They have been in the news here. Your other shots are lovely.

  3. These fires are terrible in every way possible, for humans and wildlife alike. As you point out a few errant embers transported by the wind can start new fires in an instant. I have friends in NSW and Victoria. They are both safe but the NSW folks are on constant alert as the fires are not so far away, and a couple of days have produced very smoky conditions.

    1. The smokey conditions are a constant David. Sydney has suffered badly the past few days. It seems the whole country is on high fire alert and in my opinnion noone is safe, It only takes a spark.

  4. Your fires are so devastating. I'm glad some places got moisture. I'd have a hard time with the smoke - I'm allergic to formaldehyde which is in wood fire particulates. I enjoyed visiting Brisbane with you and your friends. All those happy smiles! PS - What a pretty dress, Helen!

    1. Western Queensalnd have received some good falls overnight but the alerts are still high for much of the country. I'm thrilled you enjoyed visiting Brissie and thank you for the compliment for my dress. My friends were stunned to see me in one but it was so light and cool to wear on this hot day.

  5. Drought and fires there, flooding elsewhere,... and it may get worse. This is really alarming and so sad.
    The pelican photos are cute. :)
    Stay safe!

  6. Totally agree Sara. I try to do my best to help and then look for beauty in each day.
    The pelicans definitely lift one's spitits.

  7. I'm so sorry to hear that your beautiful country is on fire. Hopefully the weather will provide some liquid relief. Enjoyed your art tour - some very interesting art pieces!