down to earth: Climate Change

Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate Change. Show all posts

Caring for Australian wildlife affected by fires

25 January 2020
In the past week, I've had a couple of emails from international readers wanting to know about the native animals caught up in the unprecedented bush fires. We’ve had some rain over a large area but unfortunately, fires are still burning in some areas. We were all devastated to learn that three American men who came to Australia to help fight the fires, were killed when the plane they were fighting fires in crashed on Thursday. We send our sincere sympathy to their family and friends and thank them for the help they gave us. Rest in Peace.

This is a baby wombat rescued by Charles last year.  Sadly the mother was run over by a car.

Unbelievably, it’s estimated that over a billion animals have been killed in the fires. Some animals got out to the fire edge and were found by wildlife workers and volunteers. Some of these animals have been rescued and taken to various places such as Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Australia Zoo here in Queensland, which is just around the corner from where we live. Sadly, many of the animals found were beyond help and had to be euthanased. 

My nephew Charles sent two links for me to share with you; he has volunteered for Science for Wildlife since 2013. The first link shows a Science for Wildlife project in the Blue Mountains. https://chuffed.org/project/wildlife-bushfire-crisis. Dr Kellie Leigh and volunteers are working to establish drinking stations for native animals in the bushland. The link also has information on the Koalas rescued in Kangara Boyd National Park before the bushfires; they are currently in care at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

The RSPCA is also working to rescue and care for as many animals as they can. This second link is to the RSPCA Queensland’s Wacol wildlife hospital https://www.rspcaqld.org.au/donate/koalas

Both websites will give you information about the help given to animals in care aa well as projects needed for ongoing care. You can donate at both sites and these funds will go directly to native animals and their welfare. To those readers overseas, both these organisations are well known in Australia and I recommend both to you as genuine and responsible. Be careful when donating to the fires. Only give to recognised organisations.
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A letter of thanks from Charles

18 January 2020
A few weeks ago, when Tricia told me that she was going to sew bat wraps and joey pouches for Charles to use in his wildlife rescue work, I suggested I call in our wonderful sewing bee girls to add a few more to the collection.  I didn't think that we'd end up receiving over 200 wraps and pouches but that's what arrived.  I know I can always count on you. Thank you, ladies, you've been so generous. ♥️

Charles with some of the parcels he received.

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Looking forward, looking back

13 January 2020
We don't go away on holidays anymore but always make sure that the time between Christmas and mid-January is like a holiday.  We both do what we want to do and make sure it's different to the regular things we do during the year. I forget about routines, my meal plans loosen up and I sleep when I'm tired. My main aim is to rest and recuperate, watch Test cricket, tend the garden, read and think and as I pack away another year, I prepare for the year ahead.

Peaches were prepared in front of the TV with the cricket on.

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If you want to live a simpler life - identify your needs

8 January 2020

"Why are those pots upside-down on sticks?" - that's the question I'm asked more than any other. The second most asked question is this: "How can I start to live a simple life?"  Well, that's easy - stop shopping for things you don't need.  Of course, you could also take it one step at a time and start budgeting, menu planning, cooking from scratch, batch cooking, and making your own soap and household cleaners. You could mend your clothes, plant a vegetable garden and keep chickens. You need to keep up to date with your world, I do that via crikey.comThe Guardian and by maintaining a thoughtful connection with my online tribe; and you could lobby your local MP to find out their view of climate change and what they're doing about it. But if you want to start living more sustainably in a way that will help you save money, pay off debt, cut down on paid work or retire early, don't go shopping for "stuff". You don't have to prepare in any way, you don't have to research it, you don't need any special information or skill. You just stop. And you can do that right now. Today.
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We need sewers who can sew straight

7 January 2020
One of my nephews, Charles, is a volunteer wildlife rescuer and he spends a lot of his spare time in the Blue Mountains bush rescuing native animals. We all know our precious native wildlife has been decimated in the ongoing bush fires and injured and scared animals are now coming into local properties and homes looking for water and food. In the coming days, these are the animals Charles will be helping.  When the NSW RFS give the all-clear for people to return to the burnt bushland, Charles will set off looking for injured animals.  These animals will be carefully handled and taken to either a vet for diagnosis and treatment or a wildlife carer for longer term care. To do this work, Charles supplies his own equipment but there is a chance that he won't have enough wraps and pouches to transport the animals he finds.

I suggested to him that we - you, me and the rest of the gang here - could help him by quickly making a selection of what he needs.  I wonder if you'll join in with this.  The main need is for bat wraps and he needs 60 of them, he also needs some hanging joey pouches. Bat wraps and pouches are vital to help calm animals during transportation. Both these items are essential to Charles' work.

We're happy to accept whatever you can send - one, two, six or 20. They will help in a significant number of rescues. So who is up for this?  The patterns are simple straight sewing and the links are below for you to click on and look at.  Please be guided by the suggested fabrics - most are cotton, cotton flannelette, calico or wool. No buttons or Velcro are used. All the finished wraps and pouches need to be sent to Charles in the Blue Mountains, please contact me by email: rhondahetzel@gmail.com and I'll give you his postal address.


I wonder if there is a vet who reads my blog. I'd like to introduce you to Charles so he can speak to someone about rehydrating animals and general burns first aid. At the moment, he needs some burns cream, syringes and Vet Wraps.  If you can email me, I'll give you Charles' phone number so you can talk to him directly. Thank you.

I'll be making this part of our Instagram Sewing Bee so when you finish your sewing, please send me a photo of what you made, along with your IG name, so we can link to you from the Bee.

Thank you all. I know we'll get this started quickly so we can help Charles in his important work.
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The fires in Australia and what you can do to help

6 January 2020
As the final hours of 2019 rolled along, I sat with increasing sadness watching our country burn. Each new day revealed red landscape and sky and then news reports started trickling in of farmers, homeowners and volunteer firefighters who died protecting properties, and millions of helpless animals dying trying to escape the ferocious, unpredictable fires.  These are our unique and beautiful Australian animals - the kangaroos, koalas, wombats, echidnas, possums and bats as well as snakes, lizards, birds and insects. If you have the chance to donate to the recovery programs, please do so. Our communities and wildlife need all the help they can get. Some may never recover, the ones that might need financial assistance to start again.


You can donate to Red Cross, Salvation Army, Victoria's Country Fire Authority, NSW's Rural Fire Service,  or have a look on Instagram where there are quite a few people who have set up Go Fund Me pages to help rebuild their lost homes and farms. Also on Go Fund Me are Will Connolly (egg boy) and the wonderful Magda Szubanski who are fundraising for long term mental health care to support men, women and children traumatised by the fires. These funds will be administered by registered charities such as Beyond Blue when the short term care ends.

I have two more links for you specifically for wildlife rescue and support, courtesy of my nephew, David.  WIRES Emergency Fund for Wildlife and Wildlife Victoria.

I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart if you can help us rebuild our burnt country. ♥️




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Surviving summer in the garden

13 December 2019
I've just come in from the garden on this humid morning and want to pass on a few tips for hot and dry summer gardening. I know there are a lot of new gardeners out there so I hope what I share helps you get your garden through these harsh conditions. I was out in my garden filling up the bird baths, watering a few pots that looked parched and I also discovered a paper wasp nest right next to where I was standing.  Usually we leave the insects to do their thing, as they leave us to do ours, but with children visiting over the holidays this wasp nest is just too close to where they'll be playing so it has to go. I passed that job over to Hanno who will deal with it later today.  



The tree is one of our orange trees. We're watching it like a hawk because it's full of small oranges and if it gets heat stressed, it will drop the fruit.
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