When we lived in the UK, I was thrilled to find a very pretty clematis climbing over the garden shed in our backyard as we’d live in Australia in places too hot for these creepers.
. So when we moved to Victoria, which is usually (note “usually”) much cooler than Western Australia and Queensland, where we’d lived previously, I was delighted to plant a couple of clematis and see their lovely flowers emerging as they climbed up the trellis.
The image I played with today is a photograph I took of the clematis which produced huge, blue flowers. I loved that creeper. However, just as they were in full bloom, a severe heatwave hit Victoria and for most of one week the temperatures hovered between 42C and 47C, culminating in the Black Saturday bush fires when close to 200 people died. Sadly, our clematis creepers turned up their toes at this extreme weather and who can blame them? It was horrendous. Below is digital art from the photo I took of my lovely blue clematis before it got knocked off by the extreme heat.
Below that are photos of the bushfire which headed our way at 40mph. It did veer south due to a change of wind but in the process 11 people died in its path as the fire’s direction was not predicted. In mid-afternoon the sun was obliterated and the sky turned to night as smoke and ash covered our town and all the surrounding area. We sat in the darkness – no electricity as power lines were downed by the bushfire – and listened to the emergency reports on the Australian Broadcasting Commission radio. The efforts of the radio station’s staff to keep everyone updated on the path of the various bush fires were heroic.
Around 7.30 the sky started lightening up again and we got the first few drops of rain as the heatwave broke. The raindrops tasted like nectar! When we got up the next day, our floors, roof, car and garden were covered in a thick layer of ash – you can see some of it on the photo of our Subaru.