Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Strathewen, 11 months later
Tram In Snow
Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires, here in Victoria. In fact about fifty kilometres from my house.
Strathewen 11 months later - 1

Until a few years ago, my Aunt and members of my family lived in a little town (hamlet really) called Strathewen. It was one of the towns more or less completely destroyed that day.

I hadn't been back there since the fires. At first it didn't seem polite, and in actual fact visitors were being stopped at road blocks for months afterwards. Then it was winter, but finally a few weeks back in early January I made my way out there.
Strathewen 11 months later - 7

The grass has all grown back, and some - but by no means all - of the trees are showing green shoots. We did come across a pine plantation, which was completely destroyed and showing no signs of life:
Strathewen 11 months later - Pine plantation

We went past several plots where houses had been. Some of them places I knew people from, via my aunt. It didn't seem polite to take pictures of them, especially since I knew for a fact a number of folks had died in them :-(

The one place I did take a picture of was my aunt's old place:
Strathewen 11 months later - 11
That's the house you can just make out half way up the ridge. Miraculously it survived, although the roof was scorched.

See the whole set here on Flicr.

The whole area looked completely different. The lack of tree cover meant that one could see through what had previously been heavily forested (and indeed highly flammable) areas.

Well, I guess it won't burn again for a few years...


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