Sorry I haven’t had much time for blogging lately; getting the property and my business back to normal has occupied all of my calendar for the last couple of months. Farmerbraun asked me earlier today to put up some photos showing how the bush around my place has recovered. So following is a small selection.
First here are a couple of before-and-after shots. What’s remarkable is that eucalypt forests actually need periodic fires in order to regenerate naturally. In the case of gum trees themselves, the extreme heat caused by the combustion of eucalyptus oil releases the seed pods, which then go into overdrive.
However, most of the green ground cover you can see here is bracken fern and sedge grass, whose seeds lie far enough underground to escape the carnage. With the reduced canopy cover caused by the fires, they propagate like mad.
As far as the gum trees themselves, green regrowth commences on the trunk and lower, thicker branches.
The amazing thing with gum trees generally is their resistance to fire. As this closeup shows, hot as the fire was (over 1500°C/2732°F), with the sound part of the trunk, the flames didn’t even penetrate the whole thickness of the bark:
One of the more problematic things is with the trees that did burn through, they were consumed so completely that even their root systems have gone, leaving behind large tunnel systems in the sandy soil that extend many metres from the tree itself, can collapse underfoot and are quite treacherous. I’ve ordered my son not to go exploring without me.
So that’s where I’m up to. Though I’ve lived through many bushfires in the past, the transformation and recovery this time has been far quicker than anything I’ve ever experienced. Once again, Mother Nature has had the last word.