Extreme weather


Sometime during the night the silence woke me: no rain on the tin roof, after three continuous days of bombardment, eight inches in all.

I stumbled out on to the verandah at about 6.45 a.m., feet fumbling for the thongs, eyes peering at the thermometer – 4 degrees – then the ritual glance into the distance. Blink. Wow!

The first snowfalls on my opposite ridge, which is about 5,300 feet high. No matter how light the dusting of white, the sight is always a bonus gift, since it is no colder here than in many snowless places.

I feed the horses and check their rugs: they are warm and dry under there. Ready for more rain, or snow.

I am marooned on my mountain, but safe, as we have not had the big winds that went with the rain nearer the coast. Newcastle certainly had an ‘extreme weather event’, more of which have been forecast as global warming increases.

Which it certainly will if Mr Sartor keeps fuelling it with more coalmines – like Anvil Hill.

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After the rain


In the 24 hours to 10 o’clock this morning, 5 inches of rain fell – very heavily – on my mountain. I received a call from my daughter to say that she’d heard that the creek was nearly up to the bridge down on the tar road and I’d better hurry if I wanted to get out. Well, I did, but tomorrow had been the plan.

However, I didn’t want to be stuck for days, so I threw a few essentials together – toothbrush, computer, Drizabone, camera – stepped into my ever-ready gum boots and raced off. The creek on my usual route would definitely be up, so I drove the long way, 25 kms extra, through the National Park.

Half way round I met a local coming the other way. ‘It’s three feet over’, he said, looking down at me from the height of his big Toyota, ‘No way I’d risk it.’

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Cloud dunes


Autumn is noted for its winds here. They’ve been a little late this year, but then everything about the weather has been out of whack.

Because the mountains I face are so high, clouds often get hooked there. The wind then appears to flow over them, sculpts them into an upper mountain range.

But very early the other morning, the wind instead formed the clouds into a mighty dune, super smooth, backlit by the rising sun so it held a silver edge for about a quarter of an hour.

Other small clouds, unreliable bits of fluff, promenaded about and skylarked, ski-ing down the slope while the going was good.

I looked for my local wedge-tailed eagles. I’ll bet they were checking out the wind waves from somewhere out there – ‘Great day for a surf, eh?’

I wished for wings – but instead I grabbed the camera. There’s a lot to be said for getting up early – at least when you live somewhere like this. More clouds to come…