Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Sunday Selections #462




Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.

Huge thanks to Cie who gave me this wonderful Sunday Selections image.
  
The meme was then continued by River at Drifting through life.  Sadly she has now stepped aside (though she will join us some weeks), and I have accepted the mantle.
 
The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to me. Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen. 
 
I usually run with a theme.


It is still hot.  It is still dry.  Our catastrophic fires continue across far too many states.  

The air quality in my city was assessed as being the worst in any capital city in the world for several days.  On New Year's Eve and New Years day the rating peaked at 5185.  Anything over 200 is considered hazardous.

Add caption

 Two shots showing the same view.  One shortly before sunrise, and the second an hour later.



It is still bad, and definitely in the hazardous zone.  We are advised to stay inside when possible (though the smoke gets in).  Businesses have closed their doors.  The postal service has been suspended.  And we are the lucky ones.

The end of last year and the start of this have been devastating.  Lives were lost (human and otherwise), homes were lost (human and otherwise).  Businesses destroyed.  Habitat destroyed. 

Early yesterday a figure of 12.35 million acres burnt in the 2019/2020 bush fires was quoted.  So far.

My heart aches.  Not least because I fear for the animals which survived the inferno.  Possibly injured, they face a dreadful search for food and water.

However, in the middle of the disasters and the tragedies there was some positive news.

 Close to Mogo, a very small town on the South Coast of New South Wales, there is a zoo.  It has recently been taken over and renamed Mogo Nature Park.  Among other animals it contains lions, tigers, giraffes and an extensive range of primates.  As fire approached the zoo owners/keepers faced a dreadful choice.  Evacuation of so many animals is specialised and complex and almost certainly couldn't be arranged in time.  Nor could they risk the big cats free ranging.  I suspect they were gritting their teeth and facing the ugly fact that killing the animals was a definite option.

However, the staff and the volunteers SAVED THE ZOO.  The link takes you to the story.  Not a single animal was lost.  They are not out of danger yet, but it was a wonderful thing to read.  Sadly Mogo itself didn't fare nearly as well.

My Sunday Selections photos this week come from visits we have made to the zoo over the years (these photos are from more than ten years ago).  A visit we will repeat when the danger is over and our presence and money can support the community.


















I do hope that some of our native wildlife were able to take sanctuary there too.  So very much.

We have bushfires each and every summer.  This year they have started early and have been (and are) completely horrendous.  With no significant rain predicted before February/March at the earlier I fear for the future, and weep at the destruction revealed on a daily basis. 

If any of you wish to/have the ability to donate some suggested sites are here.




168 comments:

  1. I am glad that the animals in that zoo were spared. But, I can't imagine bringing home those monkeys and other wildlife. Wow!

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    1. gigi-hawaii: Houses can be cleaned. I am so grateful for the work of those staff and volunteers and mourn for the lives that have not been spared.

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  2. Thank you for this light in the darkness story. I find your courage ans saying power amazing in the face of these horrendous bush-fires. I was in a small bush fire years ago, and I am certain I would not be able to keep up my courage facing this uncertainty day in and day out. You - and all touched by the fires - are in my prayers.
    (MotherOwl leaving anonymity behind)

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    1. Charlotte/MotherOwl: Many, many thanks. It is heartbreaking. For the moment at least I am an onlooker. A grieving onlooker.

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  3. Dear EC
    It is truly horrific for all those involved in trying to control the fires or trying to save homes, belongings and animals. It is so heartbreaking to think of all the suffering. However, even in the darkest moments, there is a positive, like the zoo.
    I wish that there was a prospect of rain sooner for you all.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: I am pleased to read today that parts of Victoria are expected to get some rain over the next few days. Probably not enough, but welcome. We are also warned that the danger will spike again by next weekend.

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  4. I have been praying and watching the terrible fires y'all have been experiencing. I can't even imagine. It's nice to read about a victory!

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    1. It's.a.crazy.world: Welcome and thank you. It was lovely to read about this victory. I hope there are many more.

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  5. Well done to all the people who saved the zoo. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I can't begin to imagine how awful it is for your country at the moment. Praying for rain!

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    1. LL Cool Joe: It is horrendous. With no end in sight. I do hope your prayers are answered. Generously.

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  6. I know it is difficult for you to post about this. There is blame somewhere I suppose but certainly not the animals fault and glad some are being saved.
    You give us the personal report that we often don't get from a news story.

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    1. nothoughtsnoprayersnonothing: At the moment I am an onlooker rather than a participant. I am very, very grateful for each and every victory - and for the incredible work of the firefighters.

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  7. That is wonderful no animals were lost! Hope they continue to keep them safe.
    You stay indoors and stay safe as well. Prayers for you and your whole area.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: I hope they can continue to keep the zoo safe too. Please extend your prayers to the whole country. At the moment I am safe where so many are not.

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  8. I cannot even imagine how devastating this is for your countrymen and women and for your own home and family. The scope of these fires is so huge that I can't fathom them. I am so happy that the zoo animals were saved. That was an extraordinary feat. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I am fervently praying for rain, and do hope that comes SOON!!

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    1. Terri: We have fires every year but this year they are too big for us to comprehend (or sadly fight) as well. I do hope it rains. Soon.

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  9. It must have been hell to live in Australia, I feel it deeply. Beautiful images of the zoo, love 'em.

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    1. Bob Bushell: Thank you. It is indeed a foretaste of hell at the moment.

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    2. A little levity? If anyone tells us to "go to hell" we can tell them we are already there...

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  10. These fires are about a devastating as anything I can recall during my life. The implications for wildlife are so far reaching and potentially catastrophic, it is hard to imagine that populations of some species will ever recover. And the only coverage we see on television is of Koalas and other enigmatic species, but there are myriad forms of insects, and reptiles for example, that are not photogenic, and do not tug at the heartstrings that are also being lost. In addition to this, it appears that your Prime Minister is little short of a bone-headed idiot. How do we keep electing people like this? It is a mystery to me. I watch the news every day to monitor the fires, knowing that some of my Australian friends are in serious jeopardy. It is distressing, I can tell you. And I don't even live there.

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    1. David M. Gascoigne: You are so right. So many vulnerable species. Some of which are cute, all of which is precious. The damage to the flora is also devastating and I do wonder how much recovery we will see.
      And don't get me started on the subject of politics. I weep. I grieve. I rage.

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  11. I can't imagine what it's like to see your country burning like this.

    Your portraits of the animals are delightful. And it helps to look for the good and caring people in the midst of unbelievable disaster. They do come forward, selfless and committed. I am reminded of our fires in Alberta and all those selfless fire fighters and those offering homes to the homeless and planes for the domestic pets to get them out of there.

    I hope this bad air leaking everywhere doesn't effect too many people.

    Big hug.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. Wiswebwoman: It is heartbreaking and scary. This morning there is a road weather alert in my city because the smoke has diminished visibility so much. And we are still the lucky ones.
      In the middle of the grief and the fear I was so very grateful to find this good news. And hope for a lot more.

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  12. The continuing news from your country has been devastating and heart-wrenching. Thank you for sharing the small bit of light in the overwhelming darkness. The people that work in the zoo are all heroes in my eyes. Like you, I hope the poor wild creatures will find their own sanctuaries. Gigantic hugs to you as you all try to cope.

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    1. River Fairchild: Heroes in my eyes too. And thank you. Muchly.

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  13. I read the story and can't stop crying for all that is lost and still to be lost in future. But blessings to those wonderful people who saved the animals. And thank you so much for the places you have shared to give money to.

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    1. DJan: If only we could use the tears which have been (and are) spilling, perhaps we could douse these fires.

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  14. Our hearts are heavy...very heavy...I'm compelled to watch the coverage in respect...in sympathy...for those poor souls suffering because of what is going on. One cannot ignore what is happening. Many tears have been shed...and continue to be shed. Nights of very little sleep are common at present because my mind is in constant turmoil.

    Each week I am donating...and will continue doing so.

    My thoughts are with you, EC....sincerely, they are. Take very good care. Cuddles to Jazz...may everything change for the better soon...very soon....words never seem to be enough...

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    1. Lee: Thank you. You are right. Words are inadequate.

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  15. Mogo is such a nice little town and how courageous of the zoo staff to stay. You certainly have a great collection of zoo photos taken in better times. Nobody here did that I noticed, but I wonder if we should wear masks?

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    1. Andrew: Mogo was a lovely little town and hopefully will be again. I don't think there is much left now. I did see lots of people here in masks (and the stores have fun out). We are told that they are only effective if they are properly fitted.

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    2. Yes, heard that too about the fitting of masks. Thanks for the donation link. I am considering and I will probably donate to an animal rescue org.

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    3. Andrew: Thank you. I am donating to WIRES and the Red Cross. To start with.

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  16. To be clear: things will NOT be "the same again after the rain."Too much vegetation has gone in one mighty sweep. The lost forests were the support of vital birds, animals, insects, aquatic creatures. Some will survive and adapt, but the food chain has been dramatically altered and may take much longer to adapt than many people think.
    It will get better.But it will not be the same.

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    1. dinahmow: Sadly true. Some things (plant and animal) are gone. Possibly permanently gone. Just the same I am longing for rain.

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    2. Just about everyone on this land is longing for rain. Even those of us in the coastal tropics are scanning the skies every morning.

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    3. dinahmow: True. And some places are getting teasing dribbles of it.

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  17. That's an incredible level of contamination and one can't help but worry about the affect it will have long in to the future. Please let it rain now God....give these people a break.

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    1. only slightly confused: The whole country is going to feel the impact from these fires for a long, long time. Rain is needed and will help but sadly it isn't a cure-all.

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  18. We are following the news and praying every day, EC.

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    1. Marie Smith: Thank you. It is truly heartbreaking.

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  19. Anche qui fermo delle auto per inquinamento atmosferico.
    Purtroppo se non smettiamo di maltrattare il nostro pianeta sarà sempre peggio.
    Buona domenica.

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    1. Giancarlo: We really do need to take some strong action to preserve our planet don't we?

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  20. Such a relief that the zookeepers saved the animals. The fires are devastating. They are on news daily here. I hope you get some rain soon.

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    1. Ann Bennett: And still they rage, and the country longs for rain. Thank you.

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  21. So much pain there. It happens in California here, too. While i cannot do much, i will follow your link and try to do something, it breaks my heart.

    My selections will be up soon.

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    1. messymimi: Thank you. My heart is breaking too.

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  22. As long as you can stand it, you must take pictures of the smoke. Blogs are making me cry tonight. I cannot weep enough tears.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: The smoke is, if anything, thicker here now, and more towns/communities burn. And the tears flow.

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  23. The whole world is watching with dismay.
    So sad.

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  24. Our hearts ache 💔. In California we had horrible air during the big fires, and we were the lucky ones as you say. We are following we care very much about you and the animals.

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    1. Cloudia: Thank you. Hearts the world over ache. And bleed.

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  25. The news from Australia is so painful. I can take it in only in bits and pieces. In spite of my good imagination, I simply can't imagine how it is to be living there so close to the devastation, or to be one of those who has lost everything, or one who is rescuing animals. I read today that there aren't very many animals rescued from the burned areas because most have died. It's tragic, and as was pointed out, not over when the fires are out. Not by a long piece.

    Thank you for posting about the zoo and how all the animals were saved. Your photos from the past are excellent.

    Stay safe, EC.

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    1. jenny_o: The estimate of the numbers of animals who have died in just New South Wales stunned me. And horrified me. And the tears flow. We are for the moment safe here, and thank you.

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  26. I just heard from my cousin who lives in Mawson, they were at a summer cottage at Wallaga Lake on New Years Eve day when the emergency call to evacuate came. They went to Bermagui and spent the night in the car, and eventually were able to return to ACT via Bega. I remember Cobargo as a nice little town when I was there in 2003, sadly many houses and businesses burnt now. I read about the zoo, wonderful that the animals have been saved. But so terrible about the loss of life, not only human but wildlife too. Lets hop it all ends soon. meanwhile, stay safe.

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  27. I can't add anything to all of the heartfelt comments above. Thank you so much, EC, for the link to the zoo story, and for the wonderful photos of these precious creatures.

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    1. Alexia: It is a small and welcome light in the darkness.

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  28. I'd heard the zoo was saved but didn't know the full story. How wonderful of that keeper to take small animals home! We had a small rain belt move through our state last night, I woke up to a fine drizzly mist and wet ground, but it hasn't lasted and probably won't make it to where it is really needed.
    Is your house in a safe area? I know you have smoke, but hope desperately that the fires aren't headed towards you.

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    1. River: We had a little rain predicted, but what fell didn't reach the ground. For the moment we are safe, but uncomfortable (but still firmly on the lucky side of the equation). And continue to watch and mourn. The smoke is thicker if anything this afternoon, but I am hoping that a cooler day has helped the firefighters. So much I am hoping.

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  29. My heart breaks for all of those beautiful creatures. Thanks for posting the donation sites. I hope you will be spared.

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    1. e: Thank you. It is heart-rending, and the start of our fire season. We are uncomfortable, and expect to be so for quite a while, but hopefully no more than that.

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  30. I'm so sorry, EC, because our hearts break here too for you in Australia and for the animals. That air quality looks so bad. A couple summers ago with fires raging through our forests, our air quality was beyond bad. And those fires were not anywhere near what you are going through in your country. And now our President has ignited a firestorm of his own, in the middle east, that i fear will trigger many many deaths. The world can look bleak.

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    1. Strayer: I have seen a little about the most recent Trump firestorm. And shudder. The world can indeed look bleak.
      And tonight our fires continue.

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  31. Poor Australia. And poor us. I hope the weather breaks soon.

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    1. Bill: So much lost and destroyed. I too hope for a break in the weather but tonight there are still too many fires burning out of control.

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  32. Dear EC - the fire news is just so dreadful ... but the story about Mogo Zoo is inspiring ... and your photos are just lovely. The Wildlife Park was obviously well prepared in the circumstances ... and I'm so pleased their 'plan' worked ... so all the animals were saved. Incredibly inspiring.

    The fires - are too terrible and I can see life will be so difficult for 'a while' to come ... I just feel for you all ... with lots of thoughts and hope for Australia to get through this, and then for rains to come early ...

    So glad to read about the zoo ... a little hope - hugs and lots of them to you ... Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: I am so glad that Mogo Zoo was saved when most of the township was lost. I needed a tiny smidge of good news.
      Thank you for the hugs and the good wishes. Both are much appreciated.

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  33. I'm so glad to hear that you are safe, Sue and that the animals of Mogo Zoo were saved thanks to the careful planning, hard work and large hearts of the people who work there. Like Hilary, I needed to hear some good news. The other news and images coming out of Australia are devastating.
    Stay safe and I hope it rains soon.

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    1. Kalpana: Thank you. I needed a smidge of good news too. And still despair, worry and mourn. The smoke is even thicker here tonight though the nearest fire is about 30 miles away (at the moment).

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  34. I read over to read the story of the zoo. How uplifting and I am very happy to see their ending was a good one. Everyone is hurting all over the world for those affected by these fires. It is just so awful. :(

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  35. Prayers for relief soon for the area. Please take care and be safe. Happy those animals weren’t harmed. Hoping no other lives (both kind) are lost.

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    1. Mason Canyon: Thank you. Sadly more lives continue to be lost.

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  36. I am delighted they kept the zoo animals safe but if only the wildlife could be kept safe and then fed and watered. It is a disaster of horrendous proportions. As for you, I do hope you are using masks to breathe. Love all the animal photos.

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    1. Jo: If only the wildlife could be kept safe, is a heartfelt longing of mine too.

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  37. Jilda and and I made a donation last night. I wish I could do more.
    It breaks my heart, but the story about how they saved the animals was amazing.

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    1. Rick Watson: Thank you. It breaks so many hearts.

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  38. I'm glad they were able to save the zoo. I really hope they can get the fires under control soon.

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    1. Mary Kirkland: All over Australia a legion of mostly volunteers continues to work. I hope with all my heart that their efforts succeed. Soon.

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  39. It's so horrifying to read about...I have trouble with that. The photos you posted are just lovely and what great news to hear how they saved the zoo. Your air quality is troubling. My gosh.

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    1. Rain: Thank you. This morning I can actually see across the road (little or no wind). Excellent weather for the firefighters. Long may it last.

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  40. What heroic work those people put in saving their entire zoo! Not a single animal was lost? That's wonderful news in the middle of these horrors.

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    1. John Wiswell: It was indeed wonderful to hear. The firefighters (all of them) are the heroes of the season. And almost certainly the year.

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  41. I will be donating EC. Thank you for the links. So awful! I'm glad to hear the zoo was saved, something to uplift one's spirits at such a trying time. Hoping upon hope this will be contained for you all soon, and in the meantime angels on all your shoulders. .

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    1. DeniseinVA: Thank you. Sadly, it doesn't look like being contained any time soon, and the weather will be against again by the end of the week.

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  42. These news are so painful, I wish these animals were safe ❣

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    1. Kinga K.: Me too. How I wish. Sadly for far too many it is too later.

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  43. Every day we read about the bushfires in our paper. It is devastating. As someone who has lived through two horrific wildfires I can imagine what you are going through, but the scale of your fires is unimaginable. There will be more than scars when this finally will be over, hopefully sooner than later. It makes me fear our next wildfire season which will start again in a few months. The bad air is hard to stomach - do you have to wear masks inside the house as well? We had to do that and I think our air was still better than yours.
    The "story" of how the zoo was saved reminds me of something similar that happened here during our October 2017 fires when the owner of the safari park saved all the animals single-handedly. These are the bright stories that keep us going.

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    1. Carola Bartz: It is heartbreaking and, as you say, devastating. We are at the beginning of our fire season and I am dreading what will come next.
      Suitable face masks sold out here very quickly and we have been doing without.
      I do hope there are many, many positive stories to come because we need them. Badly.

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    1. The Ornery Old Lady: I will be over to check it out shortly. I suspect toothy is an understatement.

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  45. I haven't read the story yet and am just taking a little time to absorb my own sadness. It is so hard to be so helpless. My heart is broken over this tragedy. Thank you for your beautiful pictures and for bringing us a story that gives some joy.
    Take care of yourself. I hope this is over very soon.

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    1. Myrna R.: I so understand. The helplessness makes this horrific tragedy hit even harder.

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  46. I am so sorry this is happening. You are in my thoughts, always.
    Hooray for the zoo!

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    1. Sandra Cox: Thank you so much. With all that is going on in your own life I am humbled (and appreciative) that you found time to stop in. Huge hugs - and lots and lots of cyber wishes.

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  47. I hate that this is happening, and affecting so many things, people and animals. I just saw on the news this morning that some US firefighters are headed there to help, and I was ecstatic. I was also happy to see that the Irwins have been helping as well. I love the pictures of the animals which are so beautiful. I'm praying that you continue to be safe and healthy. Many hugs, RO

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    1. RO: Thank you. Hugs (and help) are gratefully received.

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  48. Wow,those photos are amazing , especially with the tiger!

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    1. natalia20041989: Thank you. I have a huge soft spot for tigers.

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  49. We are watching it all unfold continents away and it is heartbreaking.. can't even imagine what it must be like for those in the thick of it.. stay safe.

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    1. Hena Tayeb: It is indeed heartbreaking. I am safe for the moment but grieving.

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  50. Hi EC,

    It's really terrible what we are seeing on the news. You need an enormous prolonged rainstorm down there. We get them all the time at this time of year - I feel for you guys.

    :o(

    Cheers

    PM

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    1. Plastic Mancunian: It is horrendous. Your rain would be very, very welcome here.

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  51. My heart breaks for you, your country, and all the souls affected by this disaster. I continue to keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. I've lived in an area where wildfires were a danger, but nothing at all on the scale you're experiencing. Hugs.

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    1. Carol Kilgore: We have fires each and every year, but never like this. These fires are apocalyptic. Thank you for the hugs and the thoughts and prayers.

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  52. So glad of that one bit of good news. The wildfires are heart breaking. February seems such a long time away. Constantly in my thoughts. Wishing you rains sooner than predicted.

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    1. Nilanjana Bose: They are indeed heartbreaking. My heart is heavy and the tears I shed continue. Thank you.

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  53. My heart is aching from all this loss. Breathing must be an issue for you at this point. Praying everyday for some relief for all. I hear the it's raining today so I do hope that is the beginning of the end of all this destruction.

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    1. mxtodis123: Thank you. It is raining. A very little. In some places. Yesterday we had 0.03 of an inch. Most of which evaporated before it hit the ground. I really can't see an end in the near future to this death and destruction. And weep.

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  54. I’m so very sorry for your loss during these horrible fires,, it’s on our news daily and I keep praying for rain, you are so very very far away from us here in Canada but please know we keep you on our minds and in our prayers, the loss of life is just gut wrenching, ,, animal or human, so horrible.

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    1. Laurie: Thank you so much. And yes, it is gut wrenching. And heart hurting.

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  55. Like everyone else, I'm so moved by the bravery of the *volunteer* firefighters and hoping for the best for the many different and unique species that have already been impacted so much.

    Here's to lots and lots of rain, and sooner than later....

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    1. Mark Koopmans: Thank you. We are hoping for the best on the animal front - but fearing the worst. Some species may be permanently lost.
      And I would certainly drink a toast to lots and lots (and lots) of rain.

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  56. Dear EC, thank you for the link to the Mogo Zoo. The article soothed my mind and heart. And thank you for posting the photographs of the animals in all their serenity and majesty.

    Like you, I so hope that your native population of animals will survive.

    12.5 million acres. I can't get my mind around that. It's so much, much, much more than the wildfires we had here in California. All the misery and suffering. The tragedy. The loss. It's heart wrenching and mind boggling and it fractures the spirit. I so hope that all of you there find something to hang your hope on. That the rain won't come for several weeks is so disheartening. The only thing I'm seeing right now to be absolutely grateful for is that not more people have lost their lives. It's hard sometimes to keep the spark of hope alive within ourselves. Peace.

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    1. Dee: I too am grateful that more people didn't lose their lives, but devastated at the animal toll. I fear that many vulnerable species are now in (even more) extreme danger.
      Hope it precious and I cling to any crumb I find.

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  57. My heart breaks for the animals sometimes almostmore than the people.
    Saving the animals of Mogo Zoo was amazing and did you see the story about the guy at Omeo showgrounds with 60 huskies? I was so pleased they stayed safe.

    Your photos are beautiful, helped along by the subjects :)

    Keep looking for the good stories!

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    1. kylie: The animal losses are so very much bigger than the human that my heart does break for them more. I worry about their future too. I love that Brett Hadden refused to leave his dogs - thank you for that I had missed it.

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  58. Our weather pattern worldwide seems so unfair, especially at this moment in time.
    In my part of the UK we have had more rain than usual, in fact we went out today for a short walk and as we walked along I mentioned you and fellow Australian bloggers to Eddie saying how I wish we could send some of our rain to you … wouldn't that be wonderful.
    For now I can only send my thoughts, say some prayers and hope it doesn't get any worse. I am so sorry for the loss of human, animal, birds … any life. You are in my thoughts.

    God bless

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member ~Jan: Thank you and Eddie - so much.

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  59. Checking in, and sending love, your way. May there be rain. Enough rain to stop the fires...

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    1. daisyfae: Thank you to you too. I long for rain. Soon.

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  60. I continue to be horrified by the devastation there, and I shudder at the thought that it's early in the season. It's wonderful that the zoo was spared - I'm sure everybody needs to see a bright spot somewhere. Hoping hard for rain... stay safe.

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    1. Diane Henders: I think we are all horrified at the devastation and desperately hoping both for rain and that this is not the new normal.

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  61. My heart goes out to you all.

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  62. Stay safe, my friend. How are your birds weathering everything?
    Wishing buckets of rain for you.
    Hugs

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    1. Sandra Cox: The birds who visit us are as we are lucky. Just the same they are visibly stressed particularly on very smoky days.
      Hugs and hopes for you and yours.

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  63. Oh Sue...my heart really is breaking for all of you there, in Australia. It must be so frightening...and dreadfully painful.
    All those poor animals too...:(
    I am SO relieved to hear about the zoo though. The thought of all those captive animals being burned to death doesn't bear thinking about, does it. A pet store went up in flames here in my home town some years ago, and all the animals except for four were burned to death. It haunts me still...

    Dearest Sue, please, please do stay safe...when I saw your town on TV last night, my heart almost stopped.
    It is pouring with rain here again...oh if only I could send it to you...:/

    All my Love...and prayers for rain xxxxxxx

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    1. Ygraine: It is devastating. The fires still burn, animals still die, homes are still lost. And I weep and weep some more.
      Our air quality is still awful here but for the moment we are safe.
      I would be haunted by that pet store too.
      Hugs.

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  64. What beautiful animals. When disaster strikes, we know who we are. Those people who saved the animals are amazing.

    Australia has a very special place in my heart, I am grieving.

    I pray for rain.

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    1. neena maiya (guyana gyal): We are grieving too. All of our firefighters have done an amazing job in impossible conditions. I am endlessly grateful to them (and like you, so glad the zoo was saved).

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  65. So heartening to read a good story in these terrible times. We in California have had megafires, and the animals that suffer wring my heart. Thanks, Elephant's Child. We here think of you and pray for rain.
    Sallie Reynolds, Takethemoment.org

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    1. Sally Reynolds: Thank you. Sadly our megafires passed yours in size a while ago. Horrific aren't they? And yes, our hearts are wrung. And torn.

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  66. Hi Sue, I had to pop on to see how you are doing with all the smoke down your way. I trust a change will come through to clear the air .. without causing more damage of course. Take care. Stay safe. Carol in Cairns

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    1. Carol: How lovely to hear from you again. I hope life is treating you well. The smoke is vile - but we are still the lucky ones. And yes, big, big hopes for a change.

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  67. My heart aches for all the wildlife, humans and natures wonders that are being attacked so viciously, and I pray everyday that there will be an end to this tragic event, and that those responsible will be truly set to understand the cruelty that they have set forth.

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    1. 21 Wits: Thank you. Some of these fires were indeed the work of sick, sad arsonists, and some lightening strikes. The dreadful drought hasn't helped and so many of us grieve.

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  68. EC, I am in tears. I don't know what to say? I wish I could do more! Please take care of you! The people at the zoo, made me smile! Bless their hearts! Sending a big hug of rain, to fall upon your country! I know some of our firemen and women have come to help out. Your people must be so tired!! Please, please take care!! Big Hugs!

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    1. Magic Love Crow: Thank you so much. There are lots of tears here too, and we are so very grateful to those who come to help, who donate, and who wish us well.
      Hugs gratefully received and returned.

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  69. The extent of damage in your country is unimaginable. Yesterday's newspaper said an estimated one billion animals have already lost their lives. One billion! It's hard to even wrap my mind around such a huge number, so it was particularly heartwarming to read about the zoo people keeping their animals safe.

    I wish you rain, fresh air, and cooler temperatures, dear lady. My heart goes out to you and your whole country.

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    1. Susan: I know. It is mind boggling and heartbreaking. And still the fires burn. Thank you for your wishes and thoughts.

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  70. Those fires are devastating. So glad the zoo was saved - it's good to have those stories to sustain everyone.
    I've sent in a donation and I hope that cool temps and rain are heading your way!

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    1. Jemi Fraser: Thank you so much. The generosity of my blogging friends has been a bright light in these dark days.

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  71. Oh Sue, my heart goes out to you and your land and peoples and all the suffering beings there. Know that we are all leaning toward you with love and prayers and calls for solution and help. Crying out for you all. Big peace to every breath you take. Holding you so close to heart.
    - Jennifer

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  72. Oh EC, your sunrise shots tell a very sad story. The air quality here has been hazardous for a couple of days but not as bad as you've experienced. And like you say, we are the lucky ones. On the bad days the night sky is the same colour as the daytime sky, and everything is eerily quiet - and all this so far from the horrors of the fires. We've had some rain today, I hope it falls where it's needed.

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    1. Kim: We have had a little rain too. One milimetre. On two successive days. I suspect most of it evaporated before it hit the ground.
      I so hope that we get some soaking rains, Australia wide. Soon.

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  73. E.C., you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Our daughter-in-law's brother just left Texas headed your way to try and help with a contingent of "fire-jumpers".

    We hope the rains come early.

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    1. Wally Jones: Thank you (and your daughter-in-law's brother). We need and our grateful for any help we can get.

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  74. I weep for the animals and for the people and for plants. I pray for a long steady rain to come your way.

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    1. Mildred Ratched: I weep too. I grieve for the people who have lost their homes and/or their lives but I grieve more for the many, many more birds and animals in the same boat. Our species is in no danger of extinction, which is not true of so many other species of animals, birds, plants, insects...

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  75. I love the photos. I'm also very, very sorry about the fires. Like children, Americans don't generally take much notice of other people's problems, but your fires have been prominently mentioned in the news for weeks now. I hear that, even now, many of your countrymen are denying any link to global warming. I feel guilty for saying this, but it's nice to know that not ALL of the world's crazies live in my country.

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    1. Snowbrush: Not all the world's crazies by any means live in your country. Our Prime Minister (who is finally admitting that climate change is real) spruiked the benefits of coal again this week. And will only act on climate change if it doesn't impact the economy.
      In the meantime much of the country burns or has burnt. We are still early in our 'fire season' and I worry about what is to come. And mourn as the figures come in for animals lost. 1.25 BILLION was the last estimate I saw. Some species will not recover.

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    3. Snowbrush: I am sorry you removed your comment. Very sorry.

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    4. I screwed my last comment up so badly that I'm going to delete it and try again. I'm sorry for having wasted your time.

      "And will only act on climate change if it doesn't impact the economy."

      One problem with a democracy is that politicians are seldom rewarded for acting in the interest of the long-term, but to promote coal mining in the midst of your current fires is so obscene that it's worthy of the mind of Donald Trump. Because the stakes have become so high, my hatred of people like your PM and my president has grown exponentially, but rest assured that no matter what happens, they will never, ever take responsibility for their mistakes (it will have been the people of Australia who voted for them who are ultimately to blame).

      Several years ago, some local (Eugene, Oregon) children sued the federal government for destroying their future by contributing to global warming. Children from other parts of America joined in the suit, which made its way through one court after another until finally being thrown out yesterday by a high court called "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals." The reason the court dismissed the suit was that the plaintiffs lacked standing, which simply means that they can't prove that the actions of their government are hurting them personally. This makes no sense to me, and I can but suppose the standards of proof are so high that no one can meet them regardless of how obviously right they are.

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    5. Snowbrush: You didn't waste my time at all. The intent of the comment you deleted was very clear. Our very own oxygen thieves are now dedicating millions of dollars to the hugely important cause of attracting tourists back to our fire ravaged land. I grieve. And I curse. Loudly and often.

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    6. Well, the people who rely on tourist dollars are surely suffering and are appreciative of the help, but I've seen what forest fires can do (my first real exposure being when Yellowstone National Park burned in 1988), so I wouldn't want to visit such a place for many years.

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    7. Snowbrush: Yes. And sadly the assistance offered to businesses/people affected by the fires is very selective indeed.

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  76. These pictures really are so sad and heartbreaking. So see the air so think and full of smoke and particles. I am so glad things are improving, but so much devastation has occurred. I am hoping that many animals have been saved. Thanks for the sites to make donations.
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~Jess: Thank you. We lost so much of our wildlife (1.25 billion has been estimated). My heart aches, and as I type more fires are burning on the other side of Australia.

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