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OT- Fires in Sydney (and our iris garden)

  • Subject: OT- Fires in Sydney (and our iris garden)
  • From: "heather & bernard pryor" <irishaven@pip.com.au>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 20:39:24 +1100

Hi Kitty and Diane,

Yes, we are indeed fine - NOW.  A day or two ago the fires were raging about 2 miles from our home (in Turramurra) and at the bottom of the street where Janet and Ted Hutchinson live in Pymble.  

We were ready to help the Hutchinson with the evacuation of their menagerie of animals and family possessions, but thankfully it was not necessary.

The smoke has been almost unbearable.  On Wednesday morning we could not see the house across the street for the smoke.  The house is still filled with the acrid smell of the fires and everything outside is covered with bits of burnt leaves and cinders.  

However, that aside, not one single home was lost in our area.  The community fire groups (mainly mothers and older kids) which were formed several years ago were able to hold the fires in Turramurra (where we live) and Pymble until the career firemen could arrive.  Their courage in the face of 40 feet-high walls of flames is almost incomprehensible, isn't it?

Our garden out at Glenhaven was also spared, but we spent a few days out there hosing-down the place and stamping out smouldering leaves which had been blown about 40 kilometres from the fires in the Blue Mountains.  At times we could not see the helicopters buzzing overhead for the smoke.

However, we are and remain safe and snug.  There has been no real rain (other than the few drops we received on New Years Eve which was not enough to fill a thimble) for 15 days and none is forecast for another 3-4 days yet.  Needless to say the garden is dry, the native birds are exhausted, the native wildlife has been traumatised and we human interlopers have much to be thankful for. 

The Louisiana irises out at the garden are standing up to the 40 degrees C weather and powerful, dry winds wonderfully.  Nothing much seems to phase them - what tough little critters they are!

I must also say here that we have been overwhelmed ourselves with the number of calls and personal emails that we have received from our iris friends around the globe and here in Oz.  It's at times like these that friendships are tested and to have received so many calls and messages of concern has indeed been deligthful and sobering. 

Cheers for now,
Heather Pryor
In smouldering, smoky Sydney

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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