Sunday, February 08, 2009

I love a sunburnt country

Photos 1 and 2 from Australian Geographic, others from newspapers yesterday.
from w
Her beauty and her terrors.
Dorothy McKellar's poem is not sentimental twaddle, or strange 'girt by sea' images of the national anthem. Here is the full poem she wrote. We usually only hear the second verse read.
My Countryby
Dorothea Mackellar
(1885 - 1968)

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die-
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold-
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land-
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand-
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Dorothea Mackellar

Bushfire appeals

Several charities and banks have launched bushfire appeals to help raise money for the victims of the disaster:
Salvation Army: Call 13 SALVOS (137258) or donate online
The Red Cross: Call 1800 811 700 or donate to the Bushfires Appeal Fund online
National Australia Bank: Call 132 622
Bendigo Bank: 1300 366 666 or online

Local councils

You can make offers of clothing and accomodation directly to shires in areas affected by the bushfires:

Alpine Shire - (03) 5755-0513
Baw Baw Shire - 1300 859 446
Cardinia Shire - 1300 787 634
City of Greater Bendigo - (03) 5447 2248
City of Horsham - (03) 5382 9794
Nillumbilk Shire - (03) 9438 5299
Yarra Ranges - 1300 368 333
Murrindini Shire - (03) 5772 0333
Mitchell Shire - (03) 5734 6232
Whittlesea Shire - (03) 9217 2170

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Blogger karlajean said...

I have been thinking about you a lot since learning of the horrible fires. Just terrible. My prayers are with you and with the Australian people.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

As soon as I heard the news I was checking where you and Penny and Alison live in relation to the fires. Jeepers you live near. I'm glad you're not in the thick of it. Tough times ahead for all the victims.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Karla and Julie,
It has been so terrible for so many people as now many stand or sit about in emergency centres wondering what to do next. Some say they will go back to towns and farms that are ruins. One man said, Give me a caravan or container and a rake and I'll start again.
Julie, we are not near the fires this time. The worst fires have been (and still are active) north of Melbourne.

2:04 PM  
Blogger annie said...

We have been trying to keep up with Australia and Fiji on TV and are very worried. Here in West Texas we are also dry and worried about fires. We hold you in our hearts.

4:24 PM  
Blogger annie said...

P.S. I put that wrong. You are living in Australia, now, aren't you-- and those fires are too close for our comfort.But is Fiji in danger of fire from the drought, also?

4:33 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Annie,
In the southern part of Australia there are bushfires. In the north of Queensland there are floods! A huge difference in weather. Fiji doesn't get bushfires, but they do get cyclones and floods.
Thank you for your kind thoughts.

6:03 PM  

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