Tuesday, January 4, 2011

some views not too far from home!

2010 will be indeed memorable for the amount of rain we had, amongst other things. That rain has continued in parts into 2011 and some places not that far from Brisbane have felt the full effect of too much of a good thing!
For days we've been reminded how dramatically disruptive and sobering is the reality of too much rainful... here are some images that put it in perspective... certainly for me!

 kangaroo marooned on a hay bale floating down river.

Queensland's flooding disaster
aerial view of town of Dalby west of Brisbane

Queensland flood disaster
Food bowl for a continent

flood rocky air 5
iconic corregated iron roof... what's under there one wonders.

Rockhampton flood
Growing up in a river town this is reminder of a familiar scene from childhood 

Queensland floods
the clean up

People in these parts are used to 'sometimes' flooding....some places however had record flooding....that and the fact we have been told to expect perhaps another 6 months of similar weather has caused great dismay to those already affected. 

a stranded snake

Now for the geography lesson:  Some of my blogger friends might wonder where these floods are happening. Bottom right hand corner is where I am in Brisbane. Its dry here at the moment and we only had minor flooding with most of the population not effected. A lot of the flooding has occurred in the inland region if you look at the map above... covering a huge area.... but 
... even more mind-blowing is the fact that much of this water does not flow into the ocean in this state to get away .... it actually flows into NSW and eventually across to South Australia ...  flooding along its way till it empties out into the southern ocean. And it can take months!

Queensland floods graphic

I know many readers are more likely to be dealing with cold and snow where they are... This is the time of year here where we are mopping our brows and cursing the humidity...and trying to get to the beach. a pool... well... anything to keep cool! Instead  cooler, less humid days have been typical and lots of holiday plans in this state have been thrown into disarray. Me ...Ive been painting.... and planning to go on trips here and there to see a few friends.


novembergrass said...

Such a bad situation. There has been so much crazy weather worldwide, it seems that this flooding has not received the attention here that it should. You have been far more informative than the news here. I do hope it gets better soon.

r said...

yes , such a good reminder of how small and insignificant we are next to the natural world
cannot remember a Christmas holiday period here in SEQ, when i have spent so much time at home in doors, any vague plans of outdoor activity or travel very quickly quashed by mother nature...
does make for a good time out in the shed or hanging over a dyepot tho!

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I hope for the best for all of you. I stay aware that just because we are freezing and keeping warm by the fire doesn't mean everyone is. I always wonder what a summery Christmas would be like.

Anonymous said...

I didnt reaise it was so inland..


Hope the kangaroo gets rescued....

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all who have popped by...

November grass... It been very difficult weather all over I noticed too. You can probably tell I did not grow up in this state...although Grafton is on one of the maps - 200 miles south of Brisbane - where I grew up.. we had huge floods quite regularly there... so I recall how badly it affected those caught up in it.
I had to go look at the maps to see why they were saying the floding was covering a land mass bigger than France and Germany combined.
And yes... those maps tell the story.... thanks for sending your concern.
Best for 2011

hello R ... the dye-pot and shed sound like a very good idea. Its been horrendous ... even though we have been so fortunate here! I did think I was going to see the flooding of the Brisbane river for a day or two though. Good creating!

Hi Leslie,
thanks for your good wishes... It is quite amazing to see the contrast - your white winter...blogs are great for that... locating things geographically does give more meaning to what people are up to...
Keep warm and thanks for visiting!

The kangaroo story I heard was a worry...2 young
guys wanted to save it in their boat but realised the kangaroo would fearfully lash out and cause more damage than they could hope to manage in a boat... so that had to leave it to make its way!
huge floods.. one needs to see the map to realise!

see you all,
S x

Yvonne Anderson said...

It is awful isn't it....I feel for everyone going through it. Tough times.


Anonymous said...

So lovely to hear from you again Yvonne...
very tough for those in the midst of it.
a good 2011 to you!

Robyn said...

Hi beautiful Sophie
This is sad and hopefully the worst of it will come to an end soon.
Our hearts go out to all of those who are suffering because of this and that includes all the creatures big and small.

Awesome photos.

Happy New Year!

love to you

Anonymous said...

Lovely to hear from you Robyn!
I saw a photo of tiny grasshoppers and frogs covering a branch trying to find somewhere dry to exist. Big impact all around! All the photos are from news coverage...mostly The Australian newspaper.
Hope you've had a wonderful time on holiday. Wishing you wonderful times in 2011 Robyn....looking forward to seeing what you bring to us from your amazing blog world!
THanks for all your good wishes...here and always!
S xo

david weir art said...

I feel for my brothers and sisters but im sure good things wll emerge
my thoughts are with all the people of the land.

Anonymous said...

Interesting thought David.
A whole lot of things on the political agenda - maybe not being dealt with last year - have been underlined and amplified these past weeks by this event.
So as you say there can be good things that emerge... Certainly the sense of co-operation is good to see being played out!
And whilst we are cosy in the city we see the industries that support our lifestyles underwater... suddenly we think about where things come from! And how we are doing things. And New Years is a poignant time for that kind of thinking!

thanks for the thoughts!

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

Sophie...thanks for posting these photos and the maps. I'd heard through other Australian blogger friends how bad things were, but these images are a clear picture of the devastation. I surely hope for the weather to clear, so things don't get even worse for everyone there. Thinking of you all....Patti

Anonymous said...

Hi Patti,
lovely to hear from you and know that people connect all over the globe with what is occuring elsewhere. The concern over altering climate patterns I cant help but feel is best shared and discussed... it seems to be a strength of blogging .... becoming more tuned to what occurs elsewhere.
Wishing you good things in 2011.

dosfishes said...

Such devastation to the food bowl too! Hopefully those crops are not done for. Weird and wacky weather all over the world, climate is moving into stranger directions we need to take better care. Thanks for showing us what is really happening. xox Corrine

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts Corrine... I do think this is an important decade for massive turnarounds globally.
Have been listening to public radio here and there are positives in all this... but requiring critical knowledge, dissemination of information and action!
A bit of graphic info here for eg has not hurt ...the maps give perspective.
I think people care, want to understand and then want to act.
S xo

Mlle Paradis said...

stunning really sophie. can't believe you routinely witnessed flooding when you were growing up.

i think one of the first things anyone learns as a homeowner is that "water is not your friend". no matter how lovely it is anywhere but your home!

our public radio is saying everyone has pet theories and we can't jump to conclusions about climate change and these extremes of weather, but i can only think, with icecaps and glaciers melting, that water produced is bound to evaporate, condense, and end up somewhere!

stay safe! keep your paints/paintings dry! xo!

Anonymous said...

About two years ago, we suffered a devastating floor in my town and many towns North and South of us. My thoughts are with all those folks. It can be truly overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm stunned re what you say of Public Radio in the US MP!
About 6 years ago I stopped listening to Radio National here BECAUSE OF the profound gravity seeping out daily from articulate voices across many sectors...local and international stories... and because I would listen for such long hours when in the studio I began to develop a sense of deep foreboding about the future. At the time I was teaching flat out by day (across disciplines- an added provocation for the open mind) and painting the rest of the day... taking in the range of stories, interviews, voices that were pointing to large scale system breakdowns and lack of planning etc. There were counter arguments and counter voices.... it was not as if the RN body was offering a blanket view at that time - far from it - in fact I think it was more a case of each individual journalist & show - whether science, literature, economics, law, the news, current affairs... you name it.... they all kept nudging away at the fringes of emerging change without a clear view.... we at that time had been told by enough people there was "no consistent evidence" .... so it was if the combined effect of all these disparate stories.... over some years....I started to realise for myself that the problems were NOT separate.
I think the fact that the constancy of the studio hours offers so much focus and receptivity one is very able to integrate thinking.... see the connections.... evaluate independently.
I also didn't have a vested interest in denying changes or avoiding possible scenarios ... The choice to be a frugal art-worker and outside permanent salaried and superannuated structures had put me through some very vulnerable times... for 15 years at that point... so I was not so removed from some experiences I was hearing dialogue on.
AND I was living in a post industrial city in disarray and without a sense of the future at that time... that also impacts on thinking.
I didn't stop listening to RN because of a clear message... rather that I could see the hugeness of the changes needing to be met and I felt unable in the work I was doing to respond. In the end I felt I didn't need any more convincing... but I did need some headspace.
Few I was talking to at that time seemed to be in that same place so that added to the frustration. A year later Al Gore's film came out and people I was working with still said there's nothing happening...A year later I started a masters to look at how artists might respond to the scale of complexity and velocity of change in the contemporary world.... really searching for a dialogue to be part of.
Then had an accident, medical issues, left the workplace, sold up and moved north. Homage to the Seed the finding of the work I needed to do to be part of a dialogue... and the tide has turned here increasingly re the public dialogue around pressing changes... one of them climate.

Thanks for weighing in with that thought MP!
Well said about water... I lived on a very high hill through all those floods...but friends didn't. My father's business was in the flood zones... so we would have tractors and farm machinery on our (wide) front lawn for days and he would risk life and limb to keep watch over his business.There was the heroic ( mad) swim home one night through strong currents that must have worried my mother sick! That became family legend...you know kids! And when we'd go do clean up at the Garage we'd see the houses of nearby residents and know how lucky we were to be safe on that hill.
To think of those floods in Pakistan last year which represented SUCH profound tragedy... on such massive scale.
Here hearts will break, some will be greatly impoverished, homes lost, many without insurance, livelihoods disturbed...industries are feeling the implication powerfully here. And it will force questions on us about how we are set to go forward... Questions on climate are on the agenda... how could they not be!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary.... you're back and ready for the year...thats good!
SO you've seen what can happen.... water is truly overwhelming when it destroys like this.

When I lost my home due to fire 10 years ago it was a long time before I stopped thinking about it... every cigarette and match lit ... whatever...I would smell smoke and need to get up & go see what was happening....automatically!

I wonder about those who go back into sodden homes... what is the eqilvalent sensation and fear and how does it linger?

Looking forward to seeing your projects in 2011 Mary!

Anonymous said...

This is a further thought prompted by Mlle Paradis...she's a good one for stimulating dialogue...

I was in Melbourne in Dec and The Age newspaper had a whole page dedicated to climate change issues ...page 5 maybe it was...I wish Id saved it. I asked friends I was staying with about it... I was so surprised that a newspaper would report this material as if it "existed" as a fact ... covering what was being done locally and statewide - at govt and non-govt level - towards preparation for sea levels rising, increased fire storms and all kinds of assoc planning issues.

I was told this was not a one off story...that on the same day each week there would be whole page coverage of such material. I was gob-smacked.

I have long known that Melbourne was a place of very engaged public dialogue ...free forums of every kind have long been a form of 'entertainment' that pulled in interested people - that's one reason I lived there for 12 years. London is the other place I have lived that also had this level of interaction and engagement with ideas and concerns.

When you become used to that field of discussion as 'normal' and then move away....public radio becomes the conduit to the kind of discussion that is akin to living in a place where dialogue is important. Recently on the Science show on RN someone expressed the view that even if you cant say with 100% conviction that the numbers stack up that climate change is happening...how can the kinds of changes that can be implemented now be not worth doing when they are smarter no matter what's coming... and are we really going to sit and wait till all our homes are underwater to say it was true!

If the environment is matched with economics as a driver of agendas...then dont we have enough proof that we need to worry about that from other factors like population growth and biodiversity loss besides the obvious one we are arguing about. As I see it there are a whole raft of pressing issues that need reinventing and I hope 2011 brings closer multi-disciplinary co-operation
to bear on the dialogue we all need to be part of!

getting off my soapbox now to go wash dishes, clothes, and...yippy...get ready for my 5 days getaway!

ArtPropelled said...

Amazing images Sophie! Too much of a good thing, as you say. We are having a lot of rain too though not as bad as parts of Australia.

Anonymous said...

Robyn....I've only really got landscape images of coastal SA... cities, townships or ... game parks....or places from your wonderful blog. That is .... apart from that amazing 'Around the world in 80 gardens' by Monty ? which presented the most incredible garden of succulents, stonesm wood and clayworks... and that left an impression of it being rather a dry place... Did you see this show couple of years back?
Id like to visit your part of the world.
Thanks for dropping in!

Printed Material said...

We have been watching the flood waters rise in regular bulletins on the BBC tv news. There is also hourly mention of it on the radio news. I find it hard to comprehend the scale of it and my heart goes out to the people who have lost their homes and face the clear up from hell. It's a reminder to us of the huge size of Australia and the variety of weather you experience. Thanks for more in depth info. Sounds like keeping your head down and keeping the painting going is the way to go! Lesley

Anonymous said...

The world feels smaller to know that your getting bulletins over there Lesley!
Maybe we are growing more connected as a planet... certainly it was blogging that brought me an insight into what it is like to live with snow for months on end... til the winter of last year Id never had any idea of that whole experience... but the northern hemisphere bloggers dealing with the long white winter brought a new appreciation to me of never having to deal with cold. with ice, with loss of power during snow storms and such vagaries.
Hope you are having a pleasant start to this new year... and its a great one for you Lesley!

blue china studio said...

I'm glad you are safe and dry. The flooding sounds so terrible as the images convey. A reminder that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.

And Happy New Year! I'm a little late making the rounds. I hope your year will be a happy and productive one.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jaci,
its a good time of year to be slow and just relax a bit...
Im driving down the coast for a few days and a my friend has just informed me its raining non-stop at the beach where Im meeting them.
Looks like am indoor visit ...games, books and chats..!
Have a great 2011... and I shall look forward to seeing what it brings for you!

Elaine said...

Happy New Year, dear Sophie! I have been seeing about the floods reaching Brisbane and am thinking of you and hoping all is well. Your pictures of the flooding are amazing, but just make me more worried and feeling helpless. So awful about the effect on the food bowl. XX

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you too Elaine!
I'm high and dry where I live... so many are not...and its been completely overwhelming... water on this scale is so dramatic and terrifying!
Images from news sources have just kept us sad, teary, on the edge of your seats and feeling so much for people.
But i cant help but think of Pakistan... where population equal to the total of australia's population lost their homes and such.
Im dry and safe...and grateful...and the support coming in is huge!
thanks for your thoughtful message...
wishing you wonderful things for 2011!
S xx

Maggie Neale said...

Hi Sophie, I have been thinking about you as I see images of the flooding. It is a grave concern around the world as it mixes with other grave concerns. Thanks for the map; inland, so it is not salty water flooding....Our river gets ice jams and the city has been flooded several times. It is such a worry and such a clean up effort. I am feeling for you and your countryfolk; glad you are dry, but I know how it pulls on the emotions and makes creative work hard to come by. Wishing you inspiration in this new year and peace.

Anonymous said...

Yes Maggie... I know what you mean about mixing with grave concerns from all around the world. I read about Brazil yesterday... many deaths and homeless ... landslides and deluges and the heaviest rainfall on record in come places too.
Then Sri Lanka and over a million homeless from flooding. Other bloggers have told me of dangerous floods in their north US region.... I saw Germany was flooding last week... every where you look people are reeling from all kinds of events that undo livelihoods, habitat and infrastructure.... some places so tragically due to financial and backstop lacks.

Thanks so much for your kind message and wishes for the year. May 2011 bring this level of connection and support we are seeing here at the moment into the broader stream of life...