What a busy start to the new year. I have hardly had time to catch my breath let alone blog. Summer in Tasmania is always full of surprises. Whether it's snow falling on the peaks, or thunder storms, or baking sun, you have to be prepared for anything. This year, 4th January was the hottest recorded day in Tasmania for 130 years. It also saw a major bush fire disaster begin that was to last for more than a week. Swallows Nest Farm is situated on the Tasman Peninsula - almost an island in itself except for a narrow strip of land that joins it to the mainland of Tasmania. The fires cut off access to the peninsula and we were unexpectedly separated from our home and two of our kids. We spent almost a week away from home, staying with our friends at South Arm, before we were able to return home in a police escorted convoy. What an experience! We were so pleased to get home and find all our animals and all the proteas safe and sound, if a little ashy and dry!
Bushfires are a part of life in the Australian bush. There is a cycle of life in which fire plays an essential role. Many native plant species only reproduce naturally after a fire. Proteaceae are among those plants that are adapted fire as a way of reproducing or regenerating. Seeing the devastation so close at hand it is hard to imagine it ever being green again, but with the first spots of rain, some of the green shoots are already beginning to peep through the blackened soil. Banksias growing by the beach will open their cones and eject seed ready to germinate. Some plants will shoot from root systems below the ground. I'm looking forward to seeing this regeneration.
Life cycles are integral to life as a flower grower. Summer will soon turn to autumn and then winter. I will stop writing 2012 instead of 2013 and we will be well into the busyness of the year. I'm looking forward to the cycle, as the plants produce their blooms and I'm looking forward to watching the renewal of the the bushfire affected landscape. I hope that 2013 brings renewal and growth and plenty of blooms for you too!