After the Alexandra Show, where Monty got Best of Breed, we headed up to the Lake Eildon [^] dam wall at Eildon. After a wet year the lake is almost full, something that has only happened six times in the past 50 years [^].
The Furphy water cart was an early exercise in branding. One of the key parts of the brand was the “Good, better, best – never let it rest – till your good is better – and your better best” seen here at the bottom of the end.
The Pitman shorthand [^] across the middle of the tank says “Water is the gift of God but beer and whiskey are concoctions of the Devil, come and have a drink of water”. The additional Pitman section between Shepparton and the middle band has Billy Hughes [^] slogan “Produce and populate or perish” – one of the main concerns in Australia in the middle of World War 2.
The water cart gave rise to the term “Furphies” – information of a dubious nature, some might even say rumours!
With the recent Victorian Bushfires (Bush Fires, Update, Contained) we have had some wonderful sunrises and sunsets. I managed to get this photo from our back steps, just above our next-door neighbour’s roof.
The only good vantage point I had for a sunrise was through the kitchen window. The fly-screen meant that I ended up with strong strobe effect, so no joy there.
A day of heavy rain has meant that the last of the bushfires [^] that raged across the state for five weeks is now controlled. The fires have claimed 210 lives, more than 2,000 homes and burnt 421,000 hectares.
Two weeks ago we drove up to the farm, along the Melba Highway. On the way we passed close to the Kinglake township and through Yea, some of the areas most effected by the fires. The change in the landscape is almost unbelieveable; stark burnt trees and bare earth have replaced the lush, overgrown forest floor.
From the highway there are signs of frantic fire-fighting efforts, especially around Glenburn, and around odd farmhouses. But, the human-scale of the loss, lives and houses, is hidden from view.
Neil has also written an article on the Digital Photography School site [^], called “Photographing a Tragedy [^]“. The post emphasises the need for respect and tact in this situation, and fills in more of the Kinglake story.
It is now almost a month since the bush fires started. It is important to remember that some of those fires are still burning uncontrolled. People are continuing to loose their homes and livelihoods, but hopefully not their lives.
There is some hope now that the break in the weather, and the forecast week of showers may enable firefighters to get on top of the fires. It is still expected that some blazes will need to be allowed to burn themselves out.
The Victoria Fires Map [^] , which is based on live data received from the official sites, is still showing lots of uncontrolled fires. But in a positive light we now have a Victorian Bushfire Events Map [^] for fundraising events, co-ordinated by the Victorian Premier’s Department.