For several years, Australia has languished under extreme drought and water was severely rationed; last year we experienced bushfires on an epic scale that decimated the countryside. A year later, extreme rainfall and flooding on a Noah’s Ark scale!
This is the Australian climate.
Six months of rain fell in just one day and a half. Even by Australian standards, this is severe.
10 million Australians currently under a weather warning as two major systems collide.There have been hundreds of rescues and thousands across the state have faced evacuation orders as huge downfalls have caused rivers to overflow in recent days.The BOM said every mainland state and territory except Western Australia is impacted by the weather event.
Streets in Brisbane city regularly go under with each and every summer storm, and housing close to riverfronts may be picturesque in the drier times, but remain extremely vulnerable in summer rains and excessive rainfall, such as we are experiencing now.
This is my former local shopping centre car park. Cars floated away with the water.
In the country, the land is extremely low and flat. The floodplain for a river can be a kilometre or more wide. So there will be problems. Emergency services are busy.
Around 15,000 people have been evacuated on the Mid North Coast
3,000 people evacuated in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley region
Up to 38 regions have been declared natural disaster areas
Severe weather warnings issued for southern and western Queensland
Heavy rainfall is expected to continue
The equivalent of all the water contained in Sydney Harbour is pouring out the country’s rivers each day.
Luckily, we are safe, good rainfall is welcome, for the minute, because all too soon it will be dry again, Very dry.
Further south, particularly in New South Wales, they are in trouble. Big trouble. There are landslips, severed flooding and roads have been cut. Communities have been declared disaster zones and are isolated by floodwater. Farm animals left to fend for themselves as people have no alternative but to leave their homes.
Event the insects are evacuating seeking higher ground.
Another one in 100 year event, is a term I am hearing on an all too regular basis.
Yet another indication of the effects of climate change. Our planet needs help again.
Think of the cyclic changes in the tides, the comings and goings of life, recurrent patterns of decline and growth. An awakening, an ageing and a rebirth.
When I think of Ebb and flow, I think of the beach; the sandy shores gently eroding away in the warm tropical summers and returning and reconstructing in winter – a seamless transition.
I am reminded of how ebb complements flow – the yin and the yang; logic versus intuition – opposing forces that unite together. Up and down, positive and negative.
For this Friendly Friday – show me what Ebb and Flow means to you.
Spread the word around your blog community, so others can join in too.
Instructions for Joining:
Publish a ‘Friendly Friday – Ebb and Flow,’ post and include a URL link to this post, and a ‘Friendly Friday’ Tag.
Once published, paste the URL for your Friendly Friday ‘Ebb and Flow ’ post, in the comments here, so we can find you and visit your blog.
Include in your post the Friendly Friday logo, found below, if you wish.
Please note there are no deadlines for participating. New prompts are posted each week alternately at the host blogs.
Be a part of the Friendly Friday Community and visit the links in the comments section. It’s fun and interesting to see another person’s take on the prompt.
Important Notice – As Snow is feeling a little ‘snowed under’ at the moment with everything she has to do, our dear blogger friend Manja, from Manja Mexi Moving has kindly agreed to step in and help Snow out with Friendly Friday challenge on the alternate weeks, for a short while. Snow will tell you more about this next week, but you next week check out Manja’s blog for the photo challenge.
A Time Warp to the Victorian Era – in Christchurch
The best way to see Hagley Park, the Botanic Gardens and the Avon river in Christchurch, New Zealand, is not on foot but by boat.
This is seriously one of the most serene and relaxing things I’ve done. Punting at the Antigua sheds at Christchurch is something, like the city itself, very English. By way of contrast, the weather was anything but English; we were blessed with the most beautiful winter’s day – it was indeed quite cool but sunny and clear.
A Punt is a flat bottomed boat that does not have a keel. Typically, a punt is approximately 21 feet (6 metres) long and 3 feet (1 metre) wide. It should be propelled by means of a pole – about 16 foot (5 metres) long. The punt and consequently, the passengers sit very low in the water, although at no time do the passenger feel in any danger and I did not even get my feet or anything else wet.
The abridged version is “To punt without losing your balance, getting wet, wetting your passengers, while keeping the trip smooth and making sure that the passengers enjoy the ride, is something requires expertise indeed. Punting originated as a means of fishing, dredging, carrying and transporting all kinds of materials.
In other words, the punt was originally a work boat. The punting style consisted of starting at the bow, where the operator dropped the pole to the bottom, leaned on it, and then ran after it, pushing the boat under his feet. It was a method that often left the novice clinging to their pole while the punt drifted away in solitary splendour.
Pleasure punts were unknown prior to 1860 and found in Nelson and Christchurch and a couple of places in England.
A time warp would take me back to the days when men were gentlemen, women genteel, Bota hats, hats and gloves, but it was not necessary to build a time machine,as I simply took a Punt ride to Victorian splendour in the heart of Christchurch.
There are two Punting routes to choose from, one passing through the river as it goes through the main part of the city and the other, which is close to the hop on hop off point of the city trams, just a short stroll past the entrance to the museum and Botanic Gardens.
There you will find Antiqua Boat sheds, which is the starting point for the Gardens punts and Hagley Park. I only hope the historic Boat sheds, which appear to have changed little since early last century have not been ruined by the earthquakes.
We were also blessed to have the punt all to ourselves, not having to share with anyone else except Andrew, “Mr Gondolier” or should it be “Mr Punter”?!!!
Along the way, we all had to duck our heads as we went under a very low road bridge, and Andrew maintained the perfect balance whilst undergoing this manoeuvre.
Andrew, a University dropout with a flare for business, and a love of history and stories, has turned this tourist attraction into a successful part of his thriving business empire. He does not have to work, but does so he claims, “because he loves his job” and who wouldn’t: even in the rain, the guests are protected with blankets and large football umbrellas from the elements.
The ride through the Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park, a 50 acre green zone in the middle of the CBD which is never to be built on, the legacy of a pioneer settler, is a dream for those who appreciate and love nature. Also a wonderful area for environmental oxygen carbon dioxide exchange, a green zone in the metropolis, although Christchurch could hardly be called a metropolis. Just a nice sized city, really.
You also pass by the curators house and herb garden. The punts themselves are very comfortable and Andrew has blankets to keep you warm on cooler days.
Other creatures enjoying the Avon will be the endemic ducks, swans, and other aquatic life, the Daffodil garden which is really a lawn, as the daffodils are not mass planted but erupt from beneath the soil anywhere to the point that they mow a path through the daffodils in spring. They would be a bright point in the city’s current misery, as I feel sure that they would be in full bloom at this moment. (We were a few weeks early for the daffodils and the earthquake and for that I am truly grateful. (But right on time for the Lambing) A few brave early plants showing their blossoms amongst the grass are seen here, before the mower gets to them…..
The daffodil garden shortly to be cropped by the mower…. .
No motor pervades this almost spiritual atmosphere, the water is shallow and clear, rocks form the bottom of the river, and the excellent and entertaining commentary given by Andrew, pertinent and interesting. Near the end of the ride, you get a good view of the Curator’s house, and adjacent herb garden, seen on our approach to the Punting on the Park Attraction.
“Some days you are the statue, and some days the pigeon….” one of my favorite sayings, so I had to take a photo of one of the important people in Christchurch history, which WordPress has seen to delete from my media library as it is from 10 years ago.
This was definitely a day where I was the pigeon, on top of the world as I knew it then, and felt that in finding a new relaxing pastime, in a foreign city, discovered something new about myself. Surely that is something to ponder about….. even on a punt….
Flapping and fluttering of feathery wings.
Winging their way, on fluffy fantastic down,
Down on the lake they begin to preen,
Preen in the reflected face of the shimmering water
Water is their life, their food, their all,
All of them, families young and old preening and feeding together,
Together they fish, float, flap, flurry and flounder on the rocks they call home.