Rebuilding at Wheoh in the Warrumbungles after bushfire

Most recent video: Space in place (3:25 mins) August 2021

On Sunday, 12th January 2013, a bushfire (named Wambelong) escaped from the Warrumbungle National Park. It swept through Wheoh, burning plants, wildlife and the 36 year old hand-made house built on a small sandstone rise among scribbly gums (E. rossii). The impact on our family and Wheoh is most eloquently expressed by my daughter, Bonnie, in two of her own blog posts: In Memoriam (15th January 2013) and The Lonely Bones (19th January 2013).

Our family, as well as visitors, were accustomed to recording thoughts in hand-written journals (dating back to 1975). Sadly, the volume covering the years 2011-2013 was lost in the fire as well as a memory painting (above). Earlier volumes, removed in anticipation of the fire, have now been returned. In July 2013, I began the process of rebuilding and more volumes are being shelved. This, more fire proof and publicly accessible record, consists of 3 minute videos with occasional written posts. It's an attempt to capture the resilience of a fire ecology for family, friends, and anyone attracted to the serenity of reclusion, self-sufficiency and the process of making things out of what comes to hand. If I have a guiding principle it's a sense of gratitude that nothing lasts, is finished, or is perfect.

Thoughts on my own sense of belonging In Place. In 2019, drought records were broken with a mere 167.6 mm annual rainfall (average 600 mm). See 100 years of data 1886-2020.

Links to short videos

  1. Space in place (3:25 mins) August 2021
  2. Ideas (3:25 mins) July 2021
  3. Rain and rats (3:25 mins) March 2021
  4. Vale Peter Thompson (3:25 mins) December 2020
  5. Metal work (3:25 mins) June 2020
  6. Self-isolating (3:25 mins) March 2020
  7. Jack's ironbark bed (3:25 mins) December 2019
  8. Framing up a making place (3:25 mins) September 2019
  9. Sights and sounds (3:25 mins) July 2019
  10. Pouring a slab (3:25 mins) May 2019
  11. Stainless tank with Jim and Tao (3:25 mins) March 2019
  12. Falling aquifers and tanks (3:25 mins) December 2018
  13. Drought - water for wildlife (3:25 mins) September 2018
  14. Bed with kurrajong coffee (3:25 mins) May 2018
  15. Hopes & dreams (3:25 mins) January 2018
  16. Walls and fences (3:25 mins) November 2017
  17. Track making (3:25 mins) August 2017
  18. Walling and painting (3:25 mins) May 2017
  19. Termites and bookshelves (3:25 mins) April 2017
  20. Doors and drawers (3:25 mins) March 2017
  21. Rain, mist and a day bed (3:25 mins) September 2016
  22. Composting toilet (3:25 mins) April 2016
  23. Bookshelves and columns (3:25 mins) February 2016
  24. Spring tank and steps (3:25 mins) August 2015
  25. House Warming (3:25 mins) May 2015
  26. Family Easter (3:25 mins) April 2015
  27. Mixing bowl basin (3:25 mins) March 2015
  28. Water tank (3:23 mins) 4th February 2015
  29. Ends and edges (3:25 mins) 27th December 2014
  30. Verandah (3:23 mins) 30th September 2014
  31. Timor Valley community declares itself Gasfield Free (3:36 mins) 17th September 2014
  32. How to make a wood-fired oven with a hot water system (collated guide) (3:25 mins) 5th August 2014
  33. Shelter before snow (3:24 mins) 29th July 2014
  34. Wallaroos released into the Warrumbungle wilds (3:26 mins) 18th June 2014
  35. Windows and doors (3:25 mins) 30th May 2014
  36. Father and son (3:26 mins) 30th April 2014
  37. Workshop-studio (3:25 mins) 30th March 2014
  38. Confederacy of birds (3:25 mins) 13th February 2014
  39. Drought and heat (3:25 mins) 30th January 2014
  40. Oven warming (3:25 mins) 15th December 2013
  41. Oven dome (3:27 mins) 18th November 2013
  42. Oven base (3:25 mins) November 2013
  43. Stone wall (3:25 mins) October 2013
  44. Spring resilience (3:20 mins) September 2013
  45. Settling in (3:25 mins) August 2013
  46. Arriving (3:21 mins) August 2013
  47. Never take a tap for granted (3:16 mins) April 2013
  48. Burnt out by bush fire (3:25 mins) January 2013
  49. Wheoh dawn before the fire (3:24 mins) November 2012
  50. Replacing the top casement window (3:51 mins) April 2012

Links to written pieces

  1. Bushfire-ravaged communities take future into own hands - 28th January 2020 [published in Independent Australia (IA)]
  2. In Place 21st September 2018 [published in Dark Sky Dreamings ed. Merrill Findlay 2019]
  3. How Barnaby Joyce contaminates my drinking water - 12th February 2018 [published in Independent Australia (IA)]
  4. Anniversary 12 months - 12th January 2014
  5. oven base (26th September - 8th November 2013)
  6. workshop (6th - 26th September 2013)
  7. level (27th August 2013 - 6th September 2013)
  8. mail box (22th - 27th August 2013)
  9. shelter and stillness (12th - 22nd August 2013)
  10. arriving (5th - 12th August 2013)