Rebuilding at Wheoh in the Warrumbungles after bushfire

Most recent video: Sights and sounds (3:25 mins) July 2019

On Sunday, January 12th 2013, a bushfire (named Wambelong) escaped from the Warrumbungle National Park. It swept through our property, 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 the landscape 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).

Visitors to Wheoh were accustomed to recording special moments of their stay in a hand-written journal. Sadly, the volume covering the years 2011-2013 was lost in the fire. Earlier volumes, removed in anticipation of the fire, have now been returned. In July 2013, I began rebuilding and the next volumes are now in progress. This, more fire proof and accessible record, consists of 3 minute videos with occasional written posts. It's an attempt to capture the resilience of a fire ecology for my family, friends, and anyone attracted to the joys of reclusion, self-sufficiency and the process of building and making things out of what comes to hand. If I have a guiding principle it is gratitude that nothing is perfect, finished, or permanent.

There is also much to say about the impact of the fire on a fragile community. It's lovely to have people (even strangers) talk back. Any thoughts you might have, or questions, are most welcome (contact details below).

Links to short videos

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

Links to written posts

  1. In Place - 21st September 2018
  2. How Barnaby Joyce contaminates my drinking water - 12th February 2018
  3. Anniversary 12 months - 12th January 2014
  4. oven base (26th September - 8th November 2013)
  5. workshop (6th - 26th September 2013)
  6. level (27th August 2013 - 6th September 2013)
  7. mail box (22th - 27th August 2013)
  8. shelter and stillness (12th - 22nd August 2013)
  9. arriving (5th - 12th August 2013)