If you live in Australia you will know that the country is experiencing some very extreme weather conditions.  In fact earlier in the week Australia posted its hottest day on record.  In the South East corner and Tasmania, the states are on high fire alert.   Tasmania has already experienced huge blazes razing 100’s of homes to the ground.  NSW and Victoria are also facing bush fires and are expecting worse to come.  The community of Carngham, west of Ballarat (my home town), was in the path of a fast-moving grass fire, which razed more than 11,000 hectares and 9 homes and further out buildings before it was brought under control.  Lines of scorched earth and huge smoke plumes from bush fires in Australia were visible from the International Space Station on January 8.

With all the fires it is not surprising that on Tuesday morning we woke up to the smell of smoke and haze in the air.  At 6 am I got out of bed to take some photos (what was I thinking ❓ :o).

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You can just see the smokey mist.  It made a beautiful effect (or is it affect?) in the photos.  This is when I wish I had a really good camera and that I knew how to take well designed photos.

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You can see how dry the paddocks are around us and all over the state.  Talk about “a sunburnt country”!

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This is what makes me feel safer – around us farmers are watering their crops of potatoes from bores – so we have lots of green crops around us.

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We also have 2 large dams on our property.  When taking this photo I noticed 2 swans and their 3 cygnets on the dam.  You might just spot them in this photo near the other bank of the dam – dad out in front and mum rounding up the half-grown cygnets.

I wasn’t out of bed at 6 am this morning but my dh was getting ready for work at 6:30 when he spotted 2 Wedge Tail Eagles circling over one of our paddocks.  We know that a pair live in a pine plantation nearby so this didn’t surprise.  But then he noticed they had landed.  He got the binoculars out and could see that they were eating something.  They eat rabbits and hares and can eat larger animals.

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This is not our photo of a Wedge Tail Eagle but one taken from the web.  You can see more information about these magnificent birds HERE.

DH  tried to sneak closer to them with his camera but they heard him and one flew away.

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He took a photo of the 1 bird – you can just see it as a black spot to the right of the tree in the tank.  That is as close as he got before the second bird heard him and flew away.

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When he reached the spot where the birds had been he realized that it was one of the cygnets which had been the eagles’ breakfast.  Nature can seem cruel.  They had eaten every bit of it – only downy feathers left.

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Two sad swans, only 2 lonely cygnets and 1 duck commiserating.

I know this has been a long post but I thought that all of these events showed that nature can be cruel but it also has a beautiful side.  I know people effected by the bush fires will not agree that it can be beautiful and we are all thinking of them.

Bye for now,

lorrai21

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