Saturday 2 March 2019

Wandering Tasmania's Huon Valley

Australia Blog #4 – 3 March 2019
Wandering Tasmania’s Huon Valley

Irrelevant Australian Fact #4:
In 2005, security guards at Canberra’s Parliament House were 
banned from calling people ‘mate’. The ban lasted one day.

One of the very nicest things about living in the Huon Valley for the last few weeks is watching the seasonal changes as summer morphs slowly into autumn. The official date for the beginning of Australian autumn is March 1, three weeks before people in the northern hemisphere celebrate the arrival of spring. Theoretically, this is the date when the weather starts getting colder, damper, and greyer. Mother Nature usually has other ideas, however, which means that in Hobart, autumn was greeted with a record-breaking 38.5 C daytime high on March 2, enough to re-ignite a bushfire about 10 km across the Huon Valley from our cabin. As I write this on Sunday afternoon, the air is filled with the sharp aroma of burning eucalyptus leaves, and a haze has settled over the valley. The frequently updated Tasmania Fire Service website (link here) assures us that there is no immediate danger to the surrounding communities. “However, people need to remain vigilant.” When the TFS tells you to remain vigilant, you pretty much do as you’re told. So, vigilant we are. 

Give some thought to the people of Victoria, across the Bass Strait from us on the Australian mainland., where weekend temperatures have been in the 40s. There is a major bushfire southeast of Melbourne that at last report is still out of control. The bushfire fighters – many of them volunteers – are heroes indeed.

The heat spell will pass quickly, however, with Wednesday’s forecast calling for much cooler weather in Tasmania and – wait for it – snow in the higher altitudes!

Before this weekend’s heat took over, the weather had been very pleasant with temperatures in the low 20s, accompanied by cool breezes. Just walking around our little neighbourhood makes you aware of the subtle changes that are occurring: the days are shorter, the angle of the sun is different, and the leaves of some deciduous trees are starting to turn. To be honest, however, part of that may be caused by the ongoing lack of rain. 

The ‘Golden Hour’ that photographers love as the sun starts to go down is happening earlier. I’ve taken to leisurely daily walks at this time – and my camera has always been rewarded.

I hope you enjoy these late summer/early autumn photos from the Huon Valley.

Until next week, stay vigilant.

Sheep, Baker's Road

Graces Road 
Huon River

Cockle Creek beach

Local lemons

Graces Road

Sign in a local nursery

Our lunch at Harvest and Light Cafe, Geeveston

Wool-bombed bike in Geeveston

Graces Road

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