There is something about fire that speaks to a primitive instinct in us, perhaps reminding us of a time when humanity depended on fire and the hearth was the heart of the house, or maybe that is just my imagination and my northern heritage speaking. Certainly fire in this land is much more dangerous but even so as I see the drift of smoke across the valley and catch the scent in my nostrils it speaks to me of warmth and winter. How different is the smoke of wildfire in summer, linked with high winds and searing heat it leaves everyone on edge, restless and with an underlying current of fear.
Here on the Far South Coast of NSW the late summer and early autumn period is a time taken up by local festivals. From the Cobargo Folk Festival in February we move in March to the Seaside Fair and the big sculpture exhibition “Sculpture on the Edge” culminating this year with the first Fire Festival. This was held on the headland and there was music provided by Gypsies from Outer Space, food from Arincini Bambini, a community picnic among the sculptures and finally as darkness was closing in the fire sculptures were lit.
Then in April there is the Tilba Easter Festival and on alternate years the Four Winds Festival celebrates music. Planning for Four Winds next year is well under way. This remarkable three day festival features classic, cultural and world musicians, it is held in a natural amphitheater on a rural property and there are additional performances held in Bermagui venues. http://www.fourwinds.com.au for more information.
I spent Easter this year with my daughter and her family at the farm near Cooma. We planted trees on the river bank, we gathered chestnuts and rosehips and visited another farm close by which sold fresh organic raspberries. We joined the children in an Easter egg hunt, and together with friends we lunched on the verandah in fine style. Back at home I have now frozen the raspberries and made some rosehip jelly.
But today far from thinking about festivals and Easter I just wanted to get the garlic and the onion seedlings planted out into the garden. Two days ago I tried to prepare a garden bed, the last of the vegetables had been cleared out previously but at that time the ground was very dry and hard so I decided to wait for some rain before preparing the bed.
I gave up again but yesterday it finally rained, there was 18mm in the rain gauge and happily the thunderstorm had delivered enough moisture to make planting out possible. The onions and garlic are now in the garden and hopefully protected by the vegenet. They need protection because a few days ago a wallaby raided the grape vine and the sweet potato and ate all the leaves and a week before the fox got all chooks. Much as I enjoy the wild life there are moments when I wish they would stay on the other side of the fence, and imported predators like foxes are not welcome at all.