Before The Blast Of The Heatwave
These shots were taken in my garden, in late December. At the time, we’d had a few warm days but nothing like the scorching heat that has been a hallmark of Australian summers. In early November, we had endured a string of hot days and warm nights but they were swiftly replaced by balmy days and cool nights.
Had we missed out in summer entirely, we asked. But that question was answered less than a month later, when the heatwave returned in earnest. We stumbled through days that tested this city’s infrastructure, with the heat buckling train lines and leading to such heavy demand on domestic power supplies that the evenings often saw some areas without electricity.
Then came The Great Heatwave – the spell of savage temperatures the like of which we have never seen. For three consecutive days the mercury climbed above 43 Celsius (about 110 Fahrenheit) and even surpassed 46 Celsius (about 115 Fahrenheit).
Just after dawn on the first day of the heat, I noticed several new blooms on this and other rose bushes in our garden – but when I got back from work, they looked as if they had been sand-blasted or roasted in an oven.
For the first time ever, I have lost hardy rose bushes in the heat and the dry conditions. But we have much to be thankful for. Our home still stands, unlike so many in this city.
Yes, I will soon replace the roses and the mature azalea bushes that we lost this summer. Not now. The soil is too dry. There are no rain clouds on the horizon. I’ll wait until mid-April, when we’re halfway through autumn, to go and choose the replacements at our local nursery.
There’s so much to strip out of our garden. But on a positive note, there will equally be as much to plant and nurture and nurse to maturity.
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