Saturday, July 09, 2011

When a tree falls ..

... in the forest, does it make a sound.  Well, yes.

Suppose that had better post a post, as the weather hereabouts has been somewhat windy of late, but am still safe; house has roof, is still on its foundation, and haven't ended up in Kansas.

Am somewhat isolated here, with few sources of information from the "outer world" and hadn't really been following the weather "forecasts" (nor have any reason to 'bless' them and i still think the best way of finding out what the weather is doing is to stick one's head out of the hatchway - or these days, the doorway) so, on last Tuesday afternoon, noticed that the wind was picking up - the tops on the row of tall gum trees at the back fence were beginning to bend somewhat.  Wasn't too worried as they were bending away from the house and there are no tall trees near enough to do damage. Very strong gusts. Then, late in the afternoon (about 5PM), the electricity went off (it gets dark at about 5.30). 

Wasn't too fussed, as have the wood heater and still have all the "backup" systems from the caravan (240V generator, kero lamps, gas cookstove, etc.).  The numerous relationship disappearances, years on the yacht, and in the caravan, have taught me to always have a "Plan B" (and C, D, E - not sure what happens when i reach Plan Z, though. Will cope with that when it happens).

So, busied self with setting up the generator (for the freezer), lighting the lamps, stoking the fire, and preparing evening meal. Was about 6PM when noticed that Abbey wasn't around.  ??? think i.  Went out, whistled, called, (and muttered sotto voce imprecations); why tonight, of all nights, to jump the fence and go wandering).  Ah, think I, perhaps she's gone to see what the dogs round the back at Andy's are doing.  Put on my arctic apparel, collected torch, and went looking for her (and also to check to see how Andy and his family were faring).

While talking with Andy .. we hear a 'crack, crackle, crack crackle crunch CRUMP! '. Wow, that was close, we say. Andy informs me that he's OK; but still no Abbey, so walked the 3/4 k home (guessing that Abbey will come back when she's ready).  Had just reached the back door when i hear a plaintive 'oof, woof' from the car.  Silly girl had hopped into the back when i was getting the tools for the generator, and was too busy, distracted, to notice.

Went to bed early that night, then went back to Andy's next morning to see where the tree was. Found it about 100 yards away down the hill. Oooer.

Aha, there 'tis
Snap, crackle and .. thwump

Andy and son looking for gemstones

There must be a sort of 'wind funnel' at that little patch, as there are eight or nine ancient pines down - some old, previous,  falls; some recent. Still can't figure out why only some come down, and others surrounding it remain standing.

Had a look at the internet as well ... wow, one fell on a train .. must have been a wild night in the Blue Mountains area.

SMH stories

Interestingly, the electricity came back on at about 1PM on Wednesday ( has been off for three or four days, previously).  Heard later on the radio that the electricity repair crews had to pack it in at about midnight, as conditions too dangerous. While i might take snide side-swipes at "blokes in yellow Day-Glo" coats - however, electricity restoration workers, and the SES (State Emergency Service volunteer) crews (orange overalls), have my utmost admiration.

[link to SES updates] 


Davoh said...

Won't mention names .. but the previous 'electricity supply company' has been recently replaced (bought out?) by yet another 'electricity supply company'. If the speed of restoration response is any indication .. good on 'em .. but am extremely suspicious that this sort of "efficiency" may well come with a cost - which, i might add, has nothing whatsoever to do with any 'proposed', not yet implemented, so called, "carbon tax". It's called "operating expenses", whichever way one looks at it. The 'cost' of supplying "cheap" electricity (often under taxpayer subsidy) will continue to rise; 'pollution tax' or not.

Vest said...

Plenty of firewood for free.

Will you be out of pocket with the carbon tax.

Will the Opposition repeal the tax. What say you?

Davoh said...

Vestie, at this point in my life it matters not whether there is a "price" on pollution. Has happened before .. CFC's .. et al, etc have disappeared. Am not, at this point, quite sure what the Hoo Har is about.

But to answer your question about "out of pocket" .. most likely NO.

Davoh said...

and "will tony abbot repeal it.. ?" Most likely , no; industry accepts the fact that something is, will be, and must be done. what they need is "certainty". In other words methinks they will become increasingly annoyed by the antics and idiotic negative mantras of the "rabbit".

We HAVE an operational Federal Parliament. If our elected representatives choose to vote in the majority for a price on carbon dioxide pollution .. so be it.

There will, of course, be "scare" campaigns, unsupported by actual facts, mostly designed to support "power trip" ambitions of various persons and "special interest" industries.

"Profit" before "fact".

Davoh said...

. and what's all that to do with the fact that a tree was blown out of its foundation?