Friday, September 25, 2009

Red (Dust) Wednesday

Last Wednesday was like a day on Mars. Got the washing out to dry by 5:30am, on a beautiful sunny morning, and by 8:45am it was dry and all put away.

But as I was taking the washing in, I noticed a thick haze all around, but far away, and I thought some poor souls were coping with bushfires. I kept an eye on it all morning, as it got closer, wondering if I should pack some essentials, ready for a quick get away if we were told to evacuate.
But then I noticed that I couldn't smell smoke, and I knew that it wasn't a bushfire, but the red dust storm which had hit Sydney the day before, had reached Queensland.
I'm the type who flings doors and windows open every morning, so I had to run around closing everything up, fast! Wasn't I lucky to get the washing dry!!?

By 11am the sun was blocked out, the wind was howling like a maniac, and everything was shrouded in a thick pink to orange fog. I had a headache and my nose and sinuses felt raw. Even the wild birds were quiet, and this is spring, nesting time, but not a chirp out of any of them. The wind forced the red dust through any cracks and into the house, and I felt sorry for anyone with chest or breathing problems. The whole effect was spooky.

The dust was coming all the way from South Australia, from what's known as The Red Centre, and there's a joke going around which says that the farmers of South Australia have been robbed of tons of valuable top soil, and had it dumped on NSW and Queensland!

It had blown away by Thursday and was well on it's way to New Zealand, but now there's a cleanup to do. Water restrictions have been eased, for a week, and we are allowed to use hoses to wash down cars and outside areas, so long as trigger nozzles are used on the hoses.

The dust is still around. Walk through a lawn area, and your shoes are full of it. My cat's white feet are now pinkish!!
The farmers of S.A. can keep their red soil..... we can manage very nicely without it.