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Nature - the wonder and fury

January is an intense time here.

It's when I do a lot of work for National Parks - educating people about the wonders of nature. It's work I love and it usually involves dealing with people who care, plus I get to be in the best office in the world. So far, I've done Shorebirds...if you homeschoolers want some great resources about our birdlife, there is lots of good stuff on the Birds Australia website:

A threatened Little Tern nesting on the beach - can you spot him?

Looking after eggs

Baby seagull - ubiquitous, but cute!

Rare and endangered Hooded Plover - only about 50 left in Australia

Educating dog owners to share the beach with endangered shorebirds is a big part of what I do

...and did a great workshop with a bunch of kids, Patterns in Nature:

However, in summer it's usually pretty hot and apparently getting hotter - they had to add new colours to the forecast temperature map to cope with 50C+ temperatures (that sounds more like an oven temp, rather than air temp!):

Now if the winds blow the right way, it blows all that hot air our way - and our normally mild, coastal weather goes a bit nuts - for the first time ever, our region had a Catastrophic bushfire rating this week, which means, should a bushfire start, there would be no way to save property and you should just evacuate. Got a bit hot here:

41C - 105.8F
Hot temperatures, low humidity and high winds generally lead to bad bushfire conditions, and this year, with a lot of growth and recent dry weather, we have bushland primed and ready to catch fire. Currently there is a fire near to us (about 30 minutes north) which has closed the main highway to Sydney and is coming close to towns near us (but, thankfully, at the moment, not too close to us).

There is a lot of smoke around and things get eery at sunset:

I had to go into work at the Visitors Centre to deal with all the people who had left their camping spots and were stuck in our town, during peak summer tourist season, with nowhere to stay. I earned my money that afternoon! And they have cancelled my last couple of National Parks activities due to the threat of bushfires, which is a bummer.

But, we have air-conditioning and the pool, so don't feel too bad for us. So far, it looks safe in this part of the world, and I will be keeping my family as safe as can be - people are not replaceable!

Do you have hot summers? 
It is bizzare for you to be reading about bushfires in the middle of winter?
What is your favourite way to keep cool?


  1. Baby seagull! So cute! We have Plovers here in Oregon, too. They are endangered. There is a whole thing here, with the plovers, mostly being that a bunch of do-gooder humans with the best of intentions messed up their habitat. Poor creatures.

    Be safe, Ingi. Fires are scary.

    (and yes, I do think it's weird to hear about summer!)

  2. Fantastic post, Ingi. Wasn't that a crazy day last week?? You have captured our wide brown land's "beauty and terror" perfectly.


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