Wednesday, August 25, 2010


You’ll have to forgive me but the tone of this post is a bit somber.
On Saturday Deb and I went for one of our weekend drives.

As so often happens we drove out into the mountains to the east of Melbourne.
We decided to head up to Lake Mountain to see how the snow is going in the tail end of the season.

The road to Lake Mountain passes through Marysville which was devastated in the Black Saturday bushfires back in February last year. Across the state of Victoria 173 people perished in the fires.

We paused in a valley behind Marysville where I grabbed these piccies.

What was a lush valley of Mountain Ash trees is a stark graveyard of greying ghosts. The reason these trees are grey is after the fires the burnt bark has fallen from those that have died.The trees covered in a green fuzz in this piccie are the ones that pulled through the fire. Normally after a bushfire you would see the bush bouncing back and all the trees except a few would have come through. These fires were just too hot.

Back on the main road we drove further up the valley.
In places low clouds softened the ridge-lines covered in dead trees. The Aussie bush is not deciduous, these trees are bare not because of winter but because they have perished.
Finally on the high ridges ahead we saw what we had come for: Snow


Hannah Kincade said...

gorgeous pictures. I hate to see trees lost in a fire. They are so full of majestic beauty.

Alyssa Ast said...

I agree with Hannah K. It is so heart breaking to see the results of wildfires. But you managed to capture some beauty in the situation with your photos. I hope you enjoyed your drive.

Jayne said...

Oh that is heart-breaking. What a scene, it sends shivers up my back. It must have felt very odd to drive through these trees, but the snow... to me it signifies hope, somehow.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Love the pictures even if the circumstances of the trees is not good.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that you went looking for snow ;)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Somber but beautifully said.

Indigo said...

Haunting sentinels standing against a cold backdrop. Hauntingly beautiful in their own way. (Hugs)Indigo

Old Kitty said...

What a terrible thing to happen. Awful.

Thank you for the pictures - there's a glimmer of hope - nature will hopefully bounce back soon.

Take care

Jemi Fraser said...

Burned forests are sad - yet hopeful too when you can see evidence of new growth.

Myrna Foster said...

That's terrible, but your words and pictures are beautiful.

heidenkind said...

Sometimes pictures speak for themselves; I could definitely get a sense of ghosts from these.

Al said...

Hi Hannah,
The loss of trees is certainly sad.

Hi Alyssa,
I did enjoy the drive, thank you.

Hi Jayne,
Heartbreaking is right, it is ridge after ridge. I guess the positive is that eventually it will come good.

Hi Jaydee,
There is a stark beauty of the trees against the skyline.
Snow almost never happens down in the low country (even this far south) so although our higher mountains have snow every winter, it is still a novelty.

Hi Michelle,
Thank you.

Hi Indigo,
They are starkly beautiful aren’t they?

Hi Jennifer,
It was terrible. So many touched, we know people who lost everything. Worse still is Deb’s school had children who lost their parents in the fires.
Nature will bounce back, but it will be 20+ years before parts of these forests are approaching something like their normal state.

Hi Jemi,
The Oz bush is the best at coming back, in fact some species won’t even germinate until after a fire.

Hi Myrna,
Thank you.

Hi Tasha,
Thank you, that is exactly what I felt.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Oh, Al...That is so sad. 173 people died LAST year in fires...of course the photos are lovely.

VR Barkowski said...

Ravishing photographs but so haunting. Despite the stark beauty, it's heartbreaking to see such devastation. The trees look like sentinels. If not watching over the many who lost their lives, they are at least a reminder. Tragic.

Locksmith in Scarsdale NY said...

Beautiful photos, Amazing

Theresa Milstein said...

Viewing the destruction upon nature left in the aftermath of a fire is startling and sad. My husband and I mountain biked in Eastern Long Island through pines that had been devastated by fire just months before. But already new life was popping up. Hope.

Jackee at Winded Words, recently lost part of her mountain to fire.

Al said...

Hi Sharon,
Yes only last year, it is pretty raw still down here. We have fires every year, but we have never had a disaster when so many have perished.
It is in the news again too because The Royal Commission tasked with investigating the causes and the best way to protect people in the future has just handed down its reccomendations.

Hi VR,
Tragic is the word. Very much a reminder, and some of these trees may still be standing as tombstones in 30 or 40 years.

Hi Locksmith,
(sorry I don’t know your name) Thank you!

Hi Theresa,
Hope indeed, and the Aussie bush is certainly good at coming back from a fire.
I recall Jackee posting about that. Fortunately I believe no one was hurt there.

Amanda said...

Aww that is always sad to see. I saw this a lot when I was in Alaska in places that when I lived there were vibrant with trees. But the good thing up there is after the burn, the fireweed bloom brightly and makes me smile.