Beechmont Nature Journal 14th September 2019

A cartoon about last weekend’s unprecedented fire at Binna Burra. It’s wobbly because that’s how I feel right now. But all around our house the birds are singing and I heard a koala bellow just before I posted this. So life goes on, and I’m hopeful for the future.

14 Responses

  1. Helen Brown

    I love the way you document and sketch the world around you, we have a fire plan too as we live on small acres in the New England Tablelands, I’m so glad you didn’t lose your home and so sad for the folks around you who did Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Cheers Helen

    • Paula Peeters

      Thanks Helen! It was difficult for me to do, but also kind of cathartic. I’m glad you have a fire plan. Take care, P

  2. Josie

    So glad you and your family and animals are safe and that your house was saved. Terrible to hear of other houses lost and who knows what was lost in the bush. Your art and words as always are a light in the darkness though. Thank you!

  3. Sue southwood

    Gee Paula, those lost houses were a bit close. Loved your documentation. Where’s your red hat? There’d be lots of bugs and critters looking for a safe place, so the birds will have a feast. Thankyou for posting this…you’ve been busy!
    Love Sue

    • Paula Peeters

      Thanks Sue! Yeah it might be good to have a helmet next time I try to go for a bushwalk around here. This morning we heard a huge crash as we were looking out across the Illinbah Valley. Some big old tree toppled by the fire… Love Paula

  4. Melanie Venz

    I’m so glad your home was saved, Paula. Thank you for your pleas to be kind to the rangers, too. Be kind to yourself and don’t let “survivour guilt” weigh on your mind, and I look forward to seeing you chart how the landscape responds to this event. (And see you on the 20th?).

    • Paula Peeters

      Thanks Mel! Yes, planning to Climate Strike on Friday, probably in Brisbane 🙂

  5. Tanya Milne

    Hi Paula, i have been caught up in a whirlwind month of work/kid/sport/personal drama and completely unaware of where or how bad ‘the fires’ (that i heard my co-workers talking about but was too busy to pay attention) were. So i got a shock when i tuned in to my emails and saw your posts. I read on in horror (although couldn’t help but laugh at your drawing of your chooks hanging out of the car) and have now pulled myself out of ‘all about me’ mode- bigger things are going on that need our attention and require change in lifestyle across the planet! Glad you are safe. I will be joining the Global ClimateStrike. Xxx Tanya, Da Loop

    • Paula Peeters

      Ha! Thanks Tanya, I’m glad my chooks made you laugh. Well it’s impossible for us to be across everything that’s happening (and just as well, because it would be too much). I hope you’re finding some calm, and I’ll be at the climate strike too, probably in Brisbane. Paula xx

  6. Robert Ashdown

    Wonderful description of a very scary event. You have a really fabulous style. Glad you and animals and house all OK. I have ranger mates still out – one managing nine separate fires all on the go in State forests out west at the moment. I feel a great sense of unease and dread thinking of fire burning through sub-tropical rainforest, We have been losing dry vine scrub out west in areas that have never had fire through, in our records anyway. Take care.

    • Paula Peeters

      Hey Robert, thanks for your kind words about my cartoon. Interesting that such simple scribbles, combined with a first-person account, can become a powerful story. I am sad to hear of the burning of dry vine scrub, those little fragments were probably already on the edge, now pushed more so. I hope you and your ranger mates are taking care and staying safe. And I mean taking emotional care too – those of us who care about nature have all sorts of emotional impacts from seeing what’s happening around us day-by-day. But nature is resilient and life will survive – no doubt a different suite of species, a different vegetation structure, but it will be there. Last night the fireflies were out, and a bladder cicada was making a din. I’m looking forward to rain (it has to come sometime) and seeing green shoots coming back. Best wishes, Paula

  7. Sarah

    Thanks for sharing your story and scary experiences of the last week. The story boards are wonderful – a great way to express all those emotions. xo

    • Paula Peeters

      Thanks Sarah for your kind words. And it was therapeutic for me to do too! Benefits all round 🙂