Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Regrowth.

The weekend before last we went for a walk in the bush at ‘Lyrebird Walk’ near Mirboo North, which is about half an hour drive to the South of where we live.  I wanted to see how the bush was recovering from fires about 18 months ago.

Since the fires I have driven through the area quite a few times on the way to different places for my work, but haven’t had the heart to stop until now.

Many of you would have heard of the devastating Black Saturday fires that burnt on February 7th 2009. The fires that caused the damage to this  forest did not happen on the same day, but only a week or so prior to Black Saturday, during a lead up week of very hot and dry weather. If you are interested in reading more you can find some information here.

I was surprised to see that many tree ferns with burnt black trunks were already recovering very well.

I will not dwell too much more here on the devastation and sadness that came from the fires, but rather show you some pictures of how the bushland is recovering.

These eucalypt saplings are already waist-high and busily trying to outcompete each other.

Tiny fungi on burnt bark. The tip of my daughter's finger gives perspective!

We were happy to see plenty of signs of plant life recovering almost everywhere we looked. Not only that, but there lots of bird life to be seen, including Flame Robins, Kookaburras, Cockatoos, Rosellas, Blue Wrens, Yellow Robins and ‘Treecreepers’.  Big wombat sized holes and lots of scrapes in the mud showed that the local wombats were resident and in the mood for pre-spring renovations.

A yellow tailed black cockatoo surveying its surroundings.

Not a great picture, but here are some Australian icons for you - Kookaburras!

A little green shoot taking off. it's hard to tell from here, but it is a seedling nestled in the older tree.

Undergrowth re-establishing itself.

Farmland adjoining the forest.

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Comments on: "Regrowth." (12)

  1. Marvellous … it always amazes me to see the re-growth after the devastation in our bushland. The photo showing the tree ferns growing from the burnt trunk shows just how resilient these plants are! We’re so lucky up here not to experience much loss of life from our bushfires … of course, they do sweep through our bush very quickly here every summer and cause quite a bit of devastation … but the bush always recovers! Great post.

  2. It is truly inspiring to see life emerge from such devastation. Thank you for sharing!

  3. That the trees resprout from their roots, I expect. But to see birds again is truly wonderful.

  4. I agree with Diana, the birds returning is a good sign that the forest is beginning to heal. I remember a fire in some nearby woodland when I lived in England. It was a drought year, summer of ’76 I think, and it was amazing how quickly the understory plants returned, especially the ferns, helping to hide the scarred soil beneath.

  5. Cool cockatoo….

    but really, all most inspirational!

  6. Heidi, These are wonderful images of hope. I think it’s easy to forget, from our human perspective, that fire is a critical part of many ecosystems. In much of North America, within months after a fire, you can see large expanses of the beautiful pink flowers of fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium); and there are some conifer cones that only release their seeds after they have been subject to the high heat of fire.

  7. Rejuvenation taking place. Nature has a way to handle the worst…. ~bangchik

  8. What a fabulous post. Nature, given the chance, is very good at healing herself from depredations such as fires. From rampant clearcutting, not so easily, but she tries. I’m glad to see things are coming around, slowly but steadily, and hope there are no big fires this coming summer. (seems strange to say that as we lurch towards autumn!)

  9. It is wonderful to see how the earth has the ability to heal itself. A fire is such a devastating disaster. It is great to see the fresh new undergrowth and all the wildlife returning!

  10. I am always amazed at how quickly nature can heal itself. It is also pretty amazing, how if humans desert an area or building, within 10 years often you can barely see where the vegetation ends and the buildings begin.

  11. How inspiring! I am sorry you had to go through that. Fire is devastating. I remember when there were fires burning south of us during the drought a few years back, and the smoke clouded the sky and choked the lungs so badly we didn’t like to go outdoors at all.

    As I looked at these amazing photos, Heidi, these sentences popped into my head: “There is always a way forward out of disaster. Life instinctively knows that way.”

    🙂

  12. I remember my first trip to the farm back in January, driving from Noojee, Walhalla, Mirboo Nth etc. I was amazed at the re-growth. There is something sad yet optimistic about it.
    Were our farm is you can’t really tell how close the fires got, when you go walking in places like the Lyrebird walkhowever it quickly becomes apparent.

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