dull but dry in Kent, been a little busy lately, Collected a macaw from Barret's for Steve Duck (Yav) last week that he has called Ruby, I hope you all are ok and staying safe the photos of Ruby and Fred with steve
Good morning Michael, lovely photo that is.
Just after I logged on this morning our service provider went down they had a outtage or whatever it is called, anyway it's just come back.
The fields were harvested of their maize yesterday and there is a lot left fallen so put wellies on and waterproofs (it keeps raining) and just been up there easily collected a bucketful which I have left by neighbours gate for their chickens, if they need more they can take their wheelbarrow I am sure will get plenty. Dogs came too and of course they are now covered in mud but they enjoyed it.
Just had a horrid wildfire out the back here that destroyed several acres of dessicated vegetation while producing alarmingly large quantities of smoke. Our garden is pretty dry at present (made worse by having lots of weeds I uprooted and was drying in the sun to prevent revival), so given that the flames just across the road from our garden were higher than the fence (about 12 feet) this was pretty alarming. I could actually feel the heat of the blaze as soon as I stepped outside the door!
Needed to attach a new hose so that I could be sure of reaching to the top of the garden if emergency fire control was needed, but new hose wouldn't stretch to fit to the connector, resulting in several improvised implements broken and a lot of sweat and frustration before I was able to get the thing ready for use, by which time the ferocious fire had largely burnt itself out next to us and headed on to the next patch. Still got it ready just in case sparks fall from the still smouldering bits in the distance. A few firemen are out there working on what is left of it - of course they turned up when it was largely over, as usual. I'm starting to suspect them of hiding round the corner and waiting till there isn't too much work left to do. Everything stinks of smoke here now of course so all the windows are shut to keep the worst out - just what we need with the temperature heading up again. It was meant to rain over the last couple of days - we might have been spared this if it had!
These fires are pretty usual here during the dry season; there have been several big ones in the same patch of wilderness each year since our arrival. I was surprised we didn't get a nearby one this year before now. The rainy season should be starting in the next couple of weeks, so I was hoping we would be let off for a change, but it was not to be. Of course when I had to muck around out there with the hose in not very pleasant conditions I was feeling particularly unwell - I hadn't slept properly the night before, had a splitting headache caused by this and a bad neck that I could hardly move, and had been worn out by children bothering me all day when already feeling rotten - was just about to go and lie down for a bit to try to feel better before the fire emergency started!
All seems quiet out there now anyway, though in the evening, once I had actually managed to rest a bit, I had the pleasure of lugging many cans of water out there to pour on several nearby stumps and fallen logs that were still smouldering vigorously, which the firemen apparently hadn't bothered trying to extinguish. Last year a large one just kept smoking merrily away through the whole of the next day, stinking out the whole neighbourhood, till I realized what was going on. (Maybe the firemen didn't care enough to put out this sort of thing because the only remaining fire hazard was from sparks that landed in nearby gardens, as there wasn't much nearby undergrowth left for it to ignite by then, as was the case today.) I therefore decided to nip the problem in the bud this time, accumulating a nice layer of personal soot in the process and nearly getting snagged a couple of times on the rickety barbed wire fence I had to keep crossing to get at the offending debris, the nearest "official" entrance to the wilderness being several hundred yards away, though there seems no really good reason for the fence to be there at all since there are no prohibitions on walking there.
The local wilderness is going to be sadly denuded of larger trees if fires like this continue, though some seem only slightly scorched and are presumably cerrado species which have some natural fire resistance. The smouldering logs I spent the most time extinguishing earlier were all that remained of a large tree which was a favourite perch for a local family of blue and gold macaws, who we often saw hanging out there just after we first moved here a couple of years ago. They don't seem to perch anywhere we can easily spot them from our garden any more, though I did hear them around only a few weeks ago.
Gosh @Ararajuba thats the last thing you needed! I worry about the potential for forest fires here as the trees behind our house are only a metre away! we are still (unsuccessfully) trying to but the land behind us, but the owner has psychiatric problems and is in care with nobody to act on his behalf except with his permission.