It’s blowing a gale in Warrandyte!

I haven’t been checking the Bureau of Meterology website so I can’t tell you how fast the wind has been blowing, but some of the big gusts have been… scary.

I’ve actually had to close the fire resistant shutters on the north side of the house [wind direction] to protect the French doors from flying junk. Not so paranoid when you see the huge tree branch that landed in my fish pond. I dragged it out to save the fish, and so I could take some photos of it.

5 metre branch

 

I stuck my foot in the next photo to give you some perspective.

foot branch

 

I don’t have a Yeti sized foot, but that is still a thick bloody branch. The length is 5 and a bit metres, and it came from the top third of a gum tree.

When I built this house, I chose a spot that was lightly treed. After the 30/10* ruling came out I only had to chop down two trees, both within just 8 metres of the house.  Now I have close to 15 metres of defensible space around most of the house. That is one reason why that massive tree branch only made a mess of the fishpond.

Had that branch hit the house, it would have done some damage. Broken windows would have been the least of my worries. Something that big could have damaged the sprinkler system on the roof…

Had that branch hit the house during a bushfire, I doubt the house would still be standing. It’s simple really. The shell of a house can withstand quite a lot of fire… until something breaches its integrity – i.e. a broken window or a smashed roof. Once the embers can get inside it’s all over, because everything inside the house is going to be paper dry. Woosh!

And now to end on a happier note, I can finally show you that photo of an emu I took with my mobile phone. 😀

emu

 

* after Black Saturday, and while the threat of further bushfires was still acute, the then Brumby government decreed that residents of fire prone areas would be entitled to cut down trees within 10 metres of the house. And clear scrub within 30 metres of the house. Without having to apply for and get a permit from their local Council. In Nillumbik, getting a permit to cut down a single tree is as likely as winning the lottery. I know, I’ve tried.

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

25 responses to “It’s blowing a gale in Warrandyte!

  • metan

    I love the 10/30 and remember that you can clear 4 metres of fenceline too. I think it is 2m either side, or whatever you and the neighbours agree to, which in our case means on one side we can take the whole 4m because they don’t know what gardening is!

    That wind was scary, I’m glad to see you made it out safely.

    PS I have only just got to this post because my internet has magically speeded up. Not sure how, and I am hesitant to say it out loud in case it all goes wrong! Maybe all my whinging to telstra had an effect!

    Like

    • acflory

      Thanks for reminding me Metan. I need to speak to a couple of my neighbours about trees on our fencelines. I know one of them will be against any clearing so I’ll only have the 2 metres but the other neighbour probably won’t mind if I take the 4 metres in spots. I’d really really like to break the flow of the canopy so it’s not such a straight line from the northwest. Definitely something to do before next summer.

      I’m glad your you-know-what is improved! Maybe Telstra is getting sick of all the bad press. 🙂

      Like

      • metan

        Spoke too soon 😦 dismal again today and a new email account is not working properly. I explained why carefully to the girl on the phone and she told me that of course it wouldn’t work, I was not connected to the internet.
        Hmmmm. I explained again that even when I am connected it won’t work. She had a look at the account and then was very insistent, telling me that once I actually connected it would work. Connected now (barely), unsurprisingly, email not working. Grrrr….
        Most of the call centre people have been great and hugely helpful but that one…..

        I think that if the neighbour doesn’t want any of the 4m you can have it all to yourself.
        I would hate it if everyone cleared every bit of the 10/30 but it is nice to have the option to take away those things that are a danger.

        Like

        • acflory

          Ugh. I sometimes think call centre people either only get 5 minutes of training, or they’re so bored they don’t care. Have you thought of just getting a gmail account? At least that way if it doesn’t work you’ll /know/ it’s your connectivity at fault. Good luck!

          Like

  • EllaDee

    If that’s just a branch I can imagine the size of the tree! The 30/10 ruling and 15m cleared space is a great idea but so is the fishpond. Residents of beautful bush areas need to have their wits about them 🙂

    Like

  • Honie Briggs

    Interesting. I wouldn’t have thought tree/brush removal required a permit. Storm season has arrived here. Where my father lives, neighbors have been without power for a few days. Strangely he didn’t lose power, but the tree damage is keeping him busy.

    Like

    • acflory

      I should explain. In the built up suburbs, you don’t need a permit [or at least you didn’t 10 years ago when I lived in the burbs]. Out here on the urban fringe, residents need permits from the local council to remove any native tree – even if it is dead or riddled with white ants. All other trees can be removed – i.e. oaks, birches etc.

      This is because the urban fringe councils want to conserve native flora and fauna. Unfortunately the native flora has evolved to burn. In a perfect world, local councils would either allow people to protect themselves from fire. Or they would not let people live in fire prone areas. This ‘compromise’ killed 173 people during the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.

      Like

  • lorddavidprosser

    Glad to hear both you and the house made it through unscathed. I love the picture of the very unconcerned emu just strolling along. A good picture for a phone camera.. xx Hugs xx

    Like

  • alexlaybourne

    That is a crazy storm then. Glad you are all ok. Nice pic of the Emu, where did you take it?

    Like

    • acflory

      Back at the start of March we all trooped up to a small country town called Hepburn Springs for the wedding of my niece. The actual wedding was held at the Lavandula Farm, just outside of town. The emu seems to be a pet at the farm. 🙂

      Like

  • jorobinson176

    Wow! Between fires and gales that sounds terrifying. How terrible that you have to get permission to remove dangerous trees. That’s outrageous. What happens if they fall before the paperwork is done? Love that Emu – I’ve actually never even seen a picture of one. Cute. Hoping your gale ends quickly.

    Like

    • acflory

      Glad you liked the emu. He/she was amazingly tame and just wandered around, showing off to the wedding guests before getting bored and going wherever tame emu go. 🙂

      How can I put this nicely – the conservation ideology is rather strong here…

      Like

  • katyasnowqueen

    Know what you’re going through. Here in the Dandenong Ranges it’s also blowing a gale, just heard thunder, we are expecting hail, lightening etc. We have a huge 30 metres gum tree in our front yard that is dead and has been marked a category 4 harzard by SP Ausnet and we are waiting for them to cut it down because it’s over the power lines. Tonight’s storm will be scary as it could come down, by itself.

    Like

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