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Kangaroo pouches and koala mittens

I read an article today about a group of people with sewing, knitting and crochet skills (the Animal Rescue Craft Guild) who are feverishly churning out pouches, mittens, nests and wraps for animals affected by the bushfires here in Australia. Although the fires are in Australia, the response to the animals’ needs is global.

“I’m in!” I thought. Even my rudimentary sewing machine skills could handle a pouch, surely.

However … this very worthy group only seems to have a facebook presence, and I do not. There’s no way to access the necessary patterns and instructions if you’re not on facebook. I can see the main page but not get into the other pages.

Screengrab from the group’s facebook page.

So I thought I would post about it here, in case anyone reading has the necessary skills, the interest, and the all-important facebook account. You can find the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/arfsncrafts/. Do let me know if you make something!

BTW, the header image is of a wallaby and her joey, photographed in the Northern Territory a few years ago. Just imagine the mother being killed in a fire but the joey being rescued — s/he needs a pouch!

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A parched walk in the Blue Mountains

Blue sky! That’s not cloud on the horizon, however — it’s bushfire smoke.

In October, I walked a portion of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk from Echo Point to a track junction that leads to Merriwa St in Katoomba. Then, the rain was unceasing and the temperature was about 10deg C (50deg F) (see “A soggy walk in the Blue Mountains“). Since then, bushfires have raged in the Blue Mountains and the entire national park (some 2,690 sq km / 1,040 sq miles) was closed due to fire danger. On 31 December, when I walked again, only one track was open — the Prince Henry Cliff Walk. So I followed it in the reverse direction this time, and from Gordon Falls Lookout in Leura to Echo Point in Katoomba. (Map source)

This easily accessed walk was the only open trail.

I was very lucky with the smoke — the morning was clear, the first blue sky for quite a while, I was told. Not so lucky with the temperature, though: it was 30deg C (85deg F) when I began walking, and 35deg C (95deg F) when I stopped. That’s really not ideal for the ups and downs and sometimes rough terrain of such a walk!

A potion of the trail, very dry.

Even this trail, skirting the towns of Katoomba and Leura, is not safe from fire. Some, inexplicably, are deliberately lit by arsonists.

Recently burned area beside the trail.

Recently burned area beside the trail.

Recently burned area beside the trail.

In this view from a lookout, the burnt areas are clear. Again, that’s smoke on the horizon.

View from Olympian Rock lookout — the orange patches are burnt forest.

Finally, I got to Echo Point. This walk is only about 7km but I deliberately went slowly and rested often. The heat did not make for pleasant walking, and I hadn’t taken enough water so I was feeling about as parched as the forest! The blue sky of my start had, 2.5 hours later, mostly given way to murky, opaque smoke.

Contrast the photo below of visitors at Echo Point with one from October of the same spot.

Admiring the view, Echo Point.

The views from Echo Point are extensive. Sadly, this time the views include spot fires and smoke.

Spot fires visible from Echo Point.

Spot fires visible from Echo Point.

No ice cream or cake at the end of this walk, something more substantial was called for. 😉

An icy cold glass of Tooheys Old beer.

Posted as part of Jo’s Monday Walk.

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No, Scott Morrison, my husband does NOT want to be fighting fires this summer!

I am re-blogging this sobering post from the wife of one of the Rural Fire Service volunteers who are fighting the bushfires sweeping across eastern Australia. I had no idea that the RFS was so poorly funded and equipped. I do wish there was some way to change that state, as I fear all Australians will need the selfless actions of these volunteers even more. My donation to the RFS will, I suspect, do very little in practical terms, but it’s the only help I can offer these people other than to spread the word.

SMARTER THAN CROWS

Update: This post has now had more than 80,000 views. Thank you to everyone that’s sharing it. I wish I’d put this link up before I published. For anyone wanting to donate to the Rural Fire Service, please make a donation directly to your local brigade if you have one. If you don’t have one you can make a donation here:
DONATE TO THE RFS
I’m sorry if I don’t respond to all your messages. I’m sure you understand.

HERE’S THE ORIGINAL BLOG POST:

This photo was taken ten hours ago. The man in the middle of the photo in the red braces is my husband, Graham King. He’s fighting fires today as a volunteer. His shift won’t be over for a few more hours.

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When I saw this photo, posted by our friend David Glover on our local community page, I briefly had the thought that if anything happens…

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