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Old Dec 9, 2006, 8:36 PM   #1
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Its too darn hot outside to do much, 38 of our degrees (a bit over 100 of the fahrenheit) for the second day in a row, so I am going through some shots from last week.

Here are a couple of randowm shots from Melbourne. First a bit of public artwork.







The subway under Flinders Street station is always busy


A candid shot. Waiting for the tram



And finally a couple of shots to show you what a bushfire looks like from 200 kilenetres away. SE Australia is one of the most fire prone areas anywhere in the world and with a multi year drought going the eucalyptus forests have been ready to go up. A lighting storm last weekend started a couple of fires and as the hot weather has progressed the fires are joining and forming a 100 kilometre front.

First to get a sense of scale. The M on the NASA satelliate map is the central city of Melbourne area and is about 200 KM from the apex of the fire in the NE. I am located at the point marked R, nowhere near any danger.


Next what our street looked like yesterday at about 9 am with the smoke from the fires, much the same today. The first shot is the sun breaking through the smoke haze.


The second is at full zoom showing the kids playing cricket in the park at the bottom of the street.


Long post, if you get this far, thanks for persevering.


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Old Dec 9, 2006, 9:00 PM   #2
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Very nice series of photos of what is called the most livable city in Australia (not true of course!).

Have been following progress of the bushfires and only hope the weather breaks. On the news this morning it was stated that 200,000 hectares of bush had been destroyed and several small towns were under threat.

This is going to be a bad summer throughout Australia because of the drought and we can only hope and pray that the weather shows signs of relenting

Fred
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Old Dec 9, 2006, 9:49 PM   #3
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Nice shots, I really like the first one, that really looks neat against the clear blue sky. Sorry to hear about the fires. Isn't summer just starting so you have a long time until rainy weather?
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Old Dec 9, 2006, 9:52 PM   #4
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Couldn't agree more with the bushfire appraisal. It does look like a bad one.

Given I haven't lived in every city in Australia I can't comment on your liveability assumption. But i sure like it here. Only place I'd be tempted by is to Tassie for the better weather (for my taste at least), but it just doesn't have the range of activities.

Thanks for looking.

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Old Dec 9, 2006, 10:02 PM   #5
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Ted,

Thanks for the kind words. To answer your question, yes summer is just starting. Normally our bushfire season doesn't kick off till mid to late January when things have been dried up by the hot weather. However because of our long drought things are already dry. The talk is already that this year could be as bad as 1939 (before my time) when about 30% of the state went up over 4 weeks, over 70 died and whole towns were destroyed. In this part of the world that is remembered as Black Friday. I do however remember Ash Wednesday in 1983 when another 70 died. We are prone to this stuff here because of the heat, relatively low rainfall and eucalyptus forests. Hope we get through the season without any deaths. At the moment a major problem for us in the city will be asthma from the smoke.

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Old Dec 10, 2006, 12:53 AM   #6
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I sympathize with you, I have been in smoke like that a couple of times and it is no fun. I hope you can get through the season with no deaths also. We had some firefighters die here in California this year fighting a forest fire and to make it worse it was an arson fire. Take care!!!
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Old Dec 10, 2006, 5:19 AM   #7
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With temperatures of 42.1C in Melbourne today, I saw more pictures on the news this evening, two homes gone with more under threat.

Also was shown with the fires burning in the background, a group of absolutely exhausted firefighters sprawled over the ground getting some sleep. What heroes

Fred


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Old Dec 10, 2006, 8:38 AM   #8
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Nice series. Sorry to hear about the fires so early in the season. We'll just all have to pray for rain in the area.

Don
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Old Dec 10, 2006, 10:09 AM   #9
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nice shots and I luv the colours in the public art (though not sure what it is!!) and the motion of the subway with all the people going to work....
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Old Dec 10, 2006, 4:45 PM   #10
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Thanks all for the comments on the photos.

Unfortunately no good news on the fires. They continue apace.
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