Today is the third day in a row that Melbourne has recorded temperatures in the 40s. It’s a new record apparently. Some people seem to get excited over things like that.
For me, though, I just peek out of the window every so often and watch another plant dry to a crisp. Occasionally I venture outside in the heat that is so hot and dry that you don’t even sweat. So far we haven’t lost any chickens, but I watch and I worry as they hang their wings and pant until they cough. There are no fire threats near us, but we are buffered in suburbia. Still I worry.
Two years ago we breathed the smoke and haze for days as the closest national park burned. It was terrifying even though we live half and hours drive away. I feared for the people who lived through it, who fought for their properties, who rescued injured animals, who saved lives. How they managed through all the smoke, I do not know. It was hard for us to breathe and we were no where near the danger zone.
Today I smell the air as I feed the chooks and while there is no smoke on it, it smells very much like it would the second before a flame erupts. Everywhere I look, I see parched and barren ground, the very skeleton of the earth baring its soul. I fear I will lose at least one of our orange trees, many of my vines are dead and gone already. Beans hang on a vine that has dehydrated beyond redemption. I suspect all I may be left with are the corn and tomatoes and the dill that scents the air as I hang out clothes that are dry before they are pegged.
When will winter come?