Rebuilding at Wheoh in the Warrumbungles after bushfire

Most recent video: Drought - water for wildlife (3:25 mins) September 2018

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 updating a hand-written journal to record special moments of their stay. 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 moved back to Wheoh to rebuild and the next volumes are now in progress. This, more fire proof and accessible record, consists of 3 minute videos with occasional 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 and the process of building and making things out of what comes to hand.

There is also much to say about the impact of the fire on a fragile community. Any thoughts and questions are welcome (contact details below). At this stage my guiding principle is gratitude that nothing is perfect, nothing is finished, nothing lasts.

Links to short videos

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

Links to 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)