Over the last few days wild bush fires have been burning in the Northern townships of  the Highlands.

People have loaded their horses into horse floats and driven away from the fires and native birds have flown to safety. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, Black Ravens, Pink Gallahs and a pretty pair of little Mountain Lorikeets have landed on the Meadow, asking if they could stay a while. Vincent, the Currawong, stands guard atop the old fir tree. “The fire is still far, far away!” he calls. “You are quite safe! You can stay for as long as you like!” Vincent loves to feel important!

While there is no fire on the Meadow, smoke-filled northerly winds bring the smell of burning bush and cast a strange yellow light across the land. It is hard to tell what is cloud and what is smoke. At sunset the sky turns red as blood.

Old Painter is worried but he isn’t scared.  He has seen bushfires before and knows how to stay safe. He tells us “don’t panic, stick together, look after each other and cheer each other up.” And that is exactly what we did.

The Meadow dogs huddled together and reassured little Freddie and Oscar that they would be safe. Little Oscar has a very keen sense of smell and is frightened by the far away smells of burning, burning. He sat on the verandah for days with his little nose pointed up in the direction of the fire.

We also stayed together as a herd. We grazed together in the field during the day and comforted each other when we felt worried.  Little Monty was brave and scared at the same time. He said “I’m not afraid of the bush fires!!” but he followed me everywhere. “Come on Monty,” I said. “You can stay close to me!”

Today the smoke is starting to clear  and we can see little bits of blue sky again. Today is definitely a better day than yesterday!

In the winter we had flooding rains on the Meadow and now bush fires are breaking out in the Highlands. It looks like the summer ahead is going to be a scorcher! I’m sure we will worry and I’m certain we will be brave!  We will get through all the tough times because we, Meadow dogs and Meadow horses, stick together.

I am very sorry for all the humans, dogs, ponies and wild creatures who have lost their homes and hope that they will get all the help they need to rebuild their homes. I wonder what we can do to help?

Have you ever been near a bushfire?

Ryan O’Brien