A Country of Extremes

Well here we are in what is close enough to call the middle of January experiencing more rain and wind and muggy weather.  You certainly cannot say that Australia is not a country of extremes.  From Bushfires in Western Australia (which may have been deliberately lit) to raging floods in Queensland and New South Wales we certainly seem to have it all.  Ashley and I have been watching closely the flood situation and the bushfires and it is just heart breaking to hear that not only have homes and businesses been lost but also lives.  The various rescue and emergency services are doing all they can but in some instances sticky beaks/rubber neckers/sightseers (use what ever word you want) are hampering efforts and in some cases are even needing rescuing themselves. 

We are not affected by the floods ourselves. Swan Hill’s chances of being flooded are very, very remote but my sister is stuck near Toowoomba with her family.  They had gone to visit her inlaws and have been cut off by the floods and now cannot return for some time to their home in the Northern Territory.  They are fine – Mum rang her today – and are on high ground and not in any danger but the worry is still there.  They can go higher if they have to so there is no concern for their safety at this stage. 

At home here we have had more rain and the weeks forecast is for more to come.  My chooks are not overly impressed with this weather although by the look of them they are managing to stay dry.  As you can see while everything else is drowing the weeks are growing beautifully….sigh.


The dam is filling very nicely and we are now getting to the stage of where does the water go when it’s full?  Another half a metre of water in it should see the water lapping at the very top edges of the dam. I think the last time that happened was not long after we had the dam dug -around 12 years ago.

The Dam

While it’s wonderful to see that the water is there for the dry times unfortuantely the pump has died so I have no way to get it to the garden. While this year is a no spend year I feel that a working pump might be a necessary item.

The front drive is flooded but we can still get in and out and a quick walk around the garden this morning quickly showed that some parts of the lawn are ankle deep in water. Milly (who hates to even go outside to pee in the rain) spent her time racing around in the puddles and having a ball.  Work that out if you can.

  The Dam

There has been more discussion as to whether we need to build/dig another ornamental pond dam in the front garden.  Each time there has been abnormal amounts of rain the subject is pulled out for further review.   I have found the perfect spot for it not near any underground power lines and only a couple of pop up sprinklers are near it. Whether Ashley agrees with my choice is another matter.  The theory is a pond dam could be used to hold the water from the drive in weather conditions like this, be attractive and also be a source of water for the plants that are right up the front of the garden. I can see a small windmill providing pumping power and lots of watery type plants put in around it – but as we all know what I see in my minds eye may never come to fuitition.  Still there may be more of a chance to get it built than there has been in previous years considering the amount of rain we have had.

Luckily Ashley and I spent time on Sunday gardening – me pruning, him putting the prunings through the mulcher.  Thank heavens we did as I’m sure that mulch that was spread around has stopped parts of the garden washing away.  I cleaned out the vegie garden and won’t plant anymore in it until the Autumn. It’s too hot now and water (dare I even say it) difficult to keep up to the plants in the hottest of weather.  I’m toying with the idea of planing some vegies in polystyrene boxes and placing them at the edge of the pergola where they will get more shade and where (hopefully) I can tend them without being devoured by mosquitos.  Already in Swan Hill a case of someone having a mosquito bourne illness has been recorded and the Doctors (according to the local paper) think that it won’t be the first.

As I said we are a country of extemes but I honestly wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Soggily Yours



5 thoughts on “A Country of Extremes

  1. I too would live no where else and early in Jan or on new years eve I found the complete version of “I love a sunburnt country” and popped it in my blog.
    My Dad was a specialist at going out and getting diesel pumps going – we were on a market garden with a 3 mil gallon dam, do not ask me what that is in today’s language but we had a 30’bore down into a coral bed stream so never lacked water. But Dad did part time consultancy with Southern Cross diesels and windmills and was often called out to fix a pump. He just seemed to have that knack and in an era where he would have been allowed to take up scholarships he had won I am sure that would have been his field somewhere. Show time was wonderful as he was their rep on a stand at the show so we would go every day. Much more educational than primary school.
    I really started to say…….go build that pond/dam in the front garden…think of all the lovely water plants you could put around the edge.
    While my heart aches for the flooded areas I am still so grateful after a couple of weeks of heat to have the lawns being watered again and the lush growth in my garden continue. I trust that not too much damage comes in the next couple of days…..I doubt it would here but I did walk around at 2 am and check that all the ceilings were secure. It was pelting down. I did have a flood through the light fittings in my back lounge room a few years back and while the entry point was fixed you are always aware that tiles can move in super heavy rain.
    Keep safe and it is good to know your family are ok also.

  2. Will the dam serve double duty? What I mean is will it hold the extra water but also during the dry times will if serve as a resevoir as well (not sure what water will drain into it)? If it works for both then by all means put it in. The way I see it is that you’ve mostly been having dry years so having an extra pond would only be to the good. Mind you it probably won’t help your mossie problem but maybe you can import extra dragonflies like gardeners import ladybugs.

    As far as the pump is concerned although it’s a no spend year I’d regard it as a necessity not a frivilous expense. I mean what is the good of having a pond if you can’t pump the water out of it? You’re going to need a pump at some point and it’s probably cheaper to buy sooner than later. Mind you having said that maybe there is a run on pumps giving all the flooding you’re experiencing in which case maybe it would be best to put it off.

  3. Catherine
    Oh, thank you for such a lengthy detailed post. I truly enjoyed hearing about all parts, although some aren’t so happily told. Having such extreme weather on the other side of the world is always intriguing for me and really opens my mind to the differences in different countries. These real-life internet blogging “lessons” mean more to me than any lesson we had “back in the day” when we were in school.
    I am thankful that you are not in the flooding area; it has made international news as we have heard about the flooding all the way over here in the USA. I think we both may wish there was some way to average out the temperatures in both of our locations; but, tscha….if only that were possible.
    Always a pleasure catching up on your half of the world.

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