This morning broke several winter records at my place. They won’t impress some of you hardy Tableland and Tassie types, but their rarity here sure impressed me.
At 7am, the sunlight not yet having found us, it was zero degrees on my verandah, which we have had on rare occasions before. What struck me was the whiteness beyond.
I am in the habit of saying ‘Oh, we don’t really get frosts; too high up, you know. Just a little on the mulch now and then.’ I can say that no longer. I don’t know what is normal weather to ‘get’ any more.
The whole yard was iced: the solar panels, grass, rocks, small shrubs. The birdbath water was frozen solid, the horse tub had an 8mm icy crust.
But what caught my eye was a strange texture down on the little dam. In disbelief I approached, still in my slippers, so treading gingerly, with childhood memories of frosty slips and bruised bottoms.
Out the gate and crunching over frozen mud decorated with delicately ice-edged hoof prints – equine Brandy Alexanders.
The whole dam was iced over. Not thick enough for skating, but too thick to break with a tap of my foot.
In fact, it was still frozen at noon, when the sun had long been sparkling over its criss-cross crystal patterns.
Today, plants went down with frostbite that have been here for decades.
Today, I thought of a future like this, with ongoing unpredictable extremes, as has already been happening—unseasonable snow, heatwaves, bushfires, floods. How will farmers cope?