Look up on the ridge! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a water tank! Head for that weird green ball on the ridge above Umina and up The Rampart. The weird green ball is at the corner of The Rampart and Castle Circuit. Park and go up behind the weird green ball and find the track through the bush. Head uphill until you get to the big rock platform. On the way up there's strips of plastic tied to the trees here and there. Fieries' (firefighters') markers perhaps, tracing the fire back to its source? Can't think of any other reason, apart from leading bowerbirds astray, why anyone would tie blue stuff to trees.
Umina in the foreground and Ettalong around The Excrescence. Blackwall Mountain on the left, Wagstaffe on the right across the water. Between them the ridges of Fishermans Bay, Rileys Bay and Hardys Bay.
In the foreground is Australia Avenue and (on the ridge) The Palisade and Kingsview Drive. The other part of the Peninsula is Blackwalll and Woy Woy. Across the water are the two umnamed islets, Rileys and St Huberts Islands behind them and the hill of Davistown behind them. Mount Pleasant, the hill of Saratoga is behind The Palisade. Behind Saratoga and Davistown is Kincumba Mountain.
Part of the suburb of Umina Beach and the tip of Mount Ettalong from part way up the ridge.
Lion Island and Barrenjoey Head behind it, just visible from the top. The strange green fuzziness on the trees is the post-bushfire growth. Leaves sprout directly from the bark of the trunk. When the branches have recovered or new ones grown, leaves grow on the branches as normal.
Life and death in miniature. Bushfire damage and regrowth on the rock platform on top of The Rampart.
There were dozens of these depressions in the rock. Some had small trees growing in them, some had bushes. Some hadn't yet filled up.
Here's a pair of crappy photos of the ridge showing the bushfire damage in January. There were about four fires in the Woy Woy area on New Year's Day 2006. The one up on The Rampart, the one at
The Bays, one at Wondabyne behind the Woy Woy ridges and one at Kariong near Gosford.
Been watching that Worst Jobs in History programme on the telly. It's a history thingy. The bloke who was Baldrick in Blackadder goes about visiting historians who show him how to do the really shit jobs from various periods in English history.
Excellent stuff, though I'm glad it's Tony Robinson doing it not me. Particularly the stale piss thing where he did the fuller's job. To take the lanolin (natural grease) out of the wool cloth urine was collected and kept for a couple of weeks. Then it was poured into a tub with the cloth and the wool scourer climbed in and started treading like they were treading grapes. And got the full whiff of the stale piss. That's been my least favourite so far, though wiping Henry VIII's bum in Tudor times was a close second.
Hot and dry yesterday and windy as hell. Perfect bushfire weather. Seven houses destroyed by bushfire in NSW (New South Wales, the state I'm in) and the wind killed some poor bastard. He was hit by a falling branch on his motorbike.
The dust on the wind made me cough a fair bit but I'm not feeling too bad. No test results yet.