Friday, 17 January 2014

Too Darn Hot

This song, written by Cole Porter for his musical Kiss Me, Kate is on high rotation in my head, but not leaving my lips - it’s even too darn hot to sing out loud.

Here in Victoria, we're entering the fourth day of a heatwave. Yesterday and today again will be 44°C (111.2°F).
Residents in rural areas, bushland suburbs and firefighters are very nervous. Everyone is on high alert.
Erratic wind changes and predicted thunderstorms present threat of lightening strikes, which can create their own problems with spot fires or downed powerlines.

And, I won’t even begin on the subject of fire starters. There aren’t enough words (mostly expletives) to describe how I feel about these low-lifes.

As I look outside, and see the tall towering gums surrounding our home bend as their volatile oil-filled canopies sway, showering the house with discarded tinder dry leaves, I hold my breath.

I always worry about the creatures of the bush. Large to small. They all have their place in this world, and fire is fatal.

They adapt to the heat, I know, but I like to ensure that I keep the bird baths topped up with cool water for the birds (insects and possums too) when they visit, to refresh and stay a short while before they seek shade.
Their beaks open to pant, and wings part from their bodies to allow air flow to their skin, and I wish them well as they fly off.

Jack finds a nice cool spot on the kitchen tiles and doesn't budge, except to drink from his (ice cubed) water bowl, and a quick dash outside for a wee.
At night, the portable fan (no air con) is positioned so he also benefits from what air - these nights, warm air - comes our way.
Our fur kids, especially those with thick coats, suffer so in these hot conditions.
I despair when I hear reports that distressed, heatstruck dogs have been found left in cars in high summer - again, another subject I'll keep away from right now, as it makes my blood boil.

My studio is located on the north side of our home. The heat radiating through the walls during the day turns it into a Swedish dry sauna. Ugh.
And I have to be in there (avoiding it at the moment) to create and prepare for markets on Feb 1st.

And so, I've been grumpy the past few days.

But, this morning, I found myself ashamed at my grumpiness and whinging about the heat and lack of sleep.
This heatwave will pass. And, a cooler change will be here in a day or so. Relief.

As much as I'm SO not a summer girl, and dislike the heat, I remind myself it is summer after all. It is as necessary as the slumbering cold of winter.

The wheel of life. Seasonal cycles that are a part of this unique, beautiful planet.
I just dislike the potential devastation from the extremes.

I find myself thinking of the people of Adelaide. With sweltering temperatures soaring to 46°C (114.8°F) as they enter their sixth day of Hades heat.
Now officially declared the, “hottest major city on the planet today”.
I worry about the city’s elderly, ill and infirm, hoping and praying that they get through without the health dangers that high heat can bring.

My heart goes out to the people and animals (domestic and wild) that suffered as fires recently raged through the hills of Perth, our previous home city on the other side of the country.

Over 100 bushfires are burning across the east coast in these extreme conditions.

Here in Victoria, 11,000 hectares currently rage out of control in the Grampians – rugged mountain ranges of jaw dropping splendour.

I wish for the safety and protection of our firefighters. Brave souls who face danger as they strive tirelessly around the clock to dampen and contain the hungry flames that leap up to 100 feet in the air and raze the landscape, consuming all in their path.

I mourn the loss of wildlife. And it hurts to think of the panic and pain they experience. Baby birds and animals are just venturing forth and experiencing the world around them. Oh, the tears.
Wildlife workers have been inundated with animals and birds suffering from injuries and heat stress.

Many of you will remember this photo of sweet “Sam” the koala, found amid the charred and smoking forest, once her home. Rescued by the kindhearted Victorian fire fighter after the Black Saturday fires.

The image melted hearts around the world.
She was one of the fortunate few.

This vast country of extraordinary, unique, diverse beauty is suffering under a cruel weather pattern. As it always has. Some summers are worse than others. Nature’s gifts, and her burdens.

So, my personal complaints are truly minor.

I am grateful that I can take a shower when I can’t bear my own armpits any longer.
And I can fill my tall glass of water with frosty ice cubes to keep hydrated and cool.
Pot plants can be watered and kept alive.
I can get through these languid days, knowing it’s not forever.

Only, as I look out my window, I close my eyes and ask the Universe to please, keep our forest valley and all the creatures I’ve come to know that dwell here, safe.


  1. Hugs. Of the cyber kind because it is waaaaay too hot for anything else.
    Thank you so much for a post which shames me. Shames me because you are thinking of others (unlike my selfish self in yesterday's post). Human and animal. Sadly the first human death in Victoria has been confirmed, and the numbers of birds, animals, insects, plants will never be recorded.
    Sad and bad.
    I hope we get some lifegiving rain soon.

    1. Thanks for the cyber hug, EC.
      Never be ashamed. My complaints were/are nothing compared to the ailments you suffer, and please never shy from disclosing - or even venting - at your blog.
      So many people think highly of you (me included) and collectively wish relief for you at such times.
      Besides, a good vent makes one feel much better :)

      Yes, sadly the deaths of animals and plants are rarely mentioned. That hurts me.

      My heart goes out to the family of the poor soul lost in the Grampians fire.

  2. Those who start fires deliberately are the lowest of the low-lifes, right down there with child abusers.
    I hope you come through this heatwave without any of the potential troubles. (fire etc)
    Being the hottest capital city on the planet is a somewhat dubious honor.

    1. I agree they are as low as child abusers. No soul. No compassion. Evil and sick.

      It is an "honour" I'm sure you'd rather was not the case. Please take care, and stay cool and hydrated, River.

  3. Oh, my... that is too HOT! :o/ Been seeing/hearing sad stories due to all that heat/fire... That image of the koala being given water breaks the heart....I'm so thankful you & yours are safe and well there. Keep cool here, however you can... (You need a swimming pool for those summers! ;o) ((LOVE & HUGS))

    1. I know a pool is a lot of upkeep and excessive water, oh but what I wouldn't give to dive into one right now.
      Wish you could freeze a block of snow and send it over :)

  4. We are in a drought and have had some fires here in California and under a high fire danger watch. We are having a temperate "heatwave" in the middle of winter--although not as hot as yours---and as we had the driest year (2013) and January in our recorded climate history here. It is an uneasy feeling. And it is the wildlife that suffer the most as they have no where else to run to get out of the way of fire or find water or nourishment.

    1. It is an uneasy feeling, Charlene. But, we choose to live in a potential danger zone, and hold our breaths each year til cooler weather (and rain) comes around.

      I find it very hard to think of the wildlife in bushfires. I donate to the carers, as they always require funds to be able to continue doing what they do.

  5. OH! I had no idea! Here I whine about it snowing again and this is happening where you live!
    I hate to be this way but I worry about the extremes in weather that this world has been having lately.
    I don't ever remember it being like this. It's frightening.
    The thought of animals out there suffering...their homes burnt and gone. It's so tragic.
    The photo of the fireman with the little koala, makes me want to cry.
    I'm thankful that there are still some good people out there.

    1. It is so tragic, the loss of wildlife. And their fear is unbearable to think of. Especially when I read about deliberately lit fires. I must hold my tongue on what I truly think of these hideous beings that are lumped together with child and animal abusers.
      The image of Sam the koala is heart-rending.
      Compassionate people with hearts of gold are still out there, throughout the world, and I hope/pray/wish they outweigh those that are heartless.

  6. Vicki, tears are streaming down my face. I'm so sorry to hear about all the wildfires in Australia, and the horribly high temperatures. I'm praying it cools off and rains soon, and that no living being feels the pain of the high temperatures, or being caught in a fire. But the image of Sam and the wonderful firefighter ... well, that restores a bit of the faith I've lost in humans. I truly do believe that good-hearted people outnumber evil people (anyway, I'm trying to do) it's just that the evil ones make the headlines more that the good-hearted ones do. Praying you all stay safe...



    1. Thank you Victoria, your wishes are gratefully appreciated :)
      It has cooled down mercifully here in our little corner of the country, but there are still other parts that are on high alert as the temps are still high and the winds play havoc as firefighters try to contain the fires. This (as you well know) is such a stressful part of the year.

      It is hard to muster up faith when we hear of so many evil things that humans do. Being with like-minded, compassionate humans is so important to encourage hope, I believe. xx

  7. some of our worst fire a couple of years ago were literally SET by some evil people.
    and like you.... I ache for the suffering of the innocent wildlife.
    we are a planet of extremes. even now the northeast is shoveling out of the worst winter in 17 years. how odd.
    and across the world you are baking in a literal oven.
    we are under fire watch now. not hot of course but bone dry again. just like the last three years of drought.
    it is hard to love this beautiful planet sometimes. it seems to be designed for the upmost cruelty.
    stay as cool as you can dearest one. it's very dangerous. and little beloved jack... well. my heart to yours and his own. love ♥♥♥ ...furever.

    1. And to you dear Tam :)
      It is a planet of extremes. And the earth is alive, shifting, morphing - as she always has and will continue to do... evolve. With or without us.

      It's cooler here for a while, and Jack is much happier. He was very listless and wonky by the end of the heatwave.
      Thoughts to all in your part of the world as you go through the drought - we're also quite familiar with it here in "droughty" Oz. Wishing for a cool, rainy day for you soon.

  8. Oh, that picture of Sam the koala brings tears to my eyes again. I'm with you - I can't stop thinking of the animals, they are the first thing I think of when I hear of bushfires :(

    I was reading a while ago how when a wild animal is caught by another they go into a sort of shock, so that the pain is not as bad as it could be. I can only hope that something of the same happens in fires. It just breaks my heart.

    The fires at the Grampians were in Wartook, where Anthony and I stayed a couple of years ago in our first Xmas Great Escape. We left several days before and came back several days after and missed the whole thing and it was lovely. It makes me sad to think of the fires ripping through there. We need to do WAY more controlled burning OR SOMETHING to try to counteract these fires as much as we can, don't we.

    1. I hope that's the case, Sue. I hate to think of their fear, panic and pain.
      And sad that such beautiful wilderness is scarred for years to come.

      I'm glad there's a cool respite for a while, giving the firefighters a change to contain and extinguish.
      The cool change is very welcome.

  9. My heart just breaks for Australia -- the heat, the fires. So awful.

    Greetings from Minneapolis,


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Pearl. They are appreciated.


Hello! Thanks for stopping by. I would love to read your comments and will reply as soon as I can :)