Life after Ashes 

Recently Cape Town has been ravaged by mountain fires that have ripped through just about every bush and tree possible. Many houses have been lost and while I feel for these people, it saddens me to think of all the animals that have lost their lives and not been able to escape the fast moving flames. Numbers are unimaginable 

The fire swept past about 1km behind my house. Despite not seeing visible animals in distress there clearly are some animals who survived the fires yet are struggling to find food resources. 

We have had a bird feeder out with some sugar water for about a year and while we have had a few visitors it’s been nothing as crazy as what it is now after the fires. 

Since the fire we have had on average about 10 Orange Breasted Sunbird’s all chirping and queuing for a taste of some sweet goodness.  It’s been great to observe then and clearly they are hungry as they are really enjoying our sugar water finishing a 1.5L bottle every day. They clearly are struggling out in their natural environmental.  

The above image shows the amazing colouration of their coats. I was able to take these photographs on my cellphone without having to use my zoom!!! 

It’s amazing how with destruction comes beauty. I certainly have realised it this year with the fire season. 


12 thoughts on “Life after Ashes 

    • Hi Josh, I am sure if you google Cape Town fires you will get some info & see the destruction it it to the landscape & to animals in the affected areas. Quite interested to see from the comments on this blog that many who are overseas were not even aware of the fires going on. It certainly is interesting to see the type of news that spreads across the globe and info that doesn’t leave the continent. So true, as you say, despite it being a sad situation, the beauty that follows destruction is something truly special in it’s own way. Another part of the natural cycle indeed. Love your last sentence. As despite us being able to have so many warning systems in place and new broadcasts giving us time to pack personal items & move out of homes before the danger reaches us we are still the ones who cannot cope well with fire and yet I think of animals that have a very small and limited early warning system in place & not all are able to out run the fires despite all their great efforts and intentions to avoid being a victim in the ash. Thank you so much for your great comment. Fiona

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      • Thanks for this detailed and thoughtful response, Fiona! News in the US seems to be dominated by the current political turmoil, so I’m sure the fires in Cape Town were drowned out by all of that noise. I do hope that the people and animals who were affected by the fire are able to recover quickly, however.

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      • Josh you simply read my mind!! I was actually going to mention Trump and all his signings of every paper under the sun in my initial response to you but thought I wouldn’t interfere in politics of another nation yet hahaha here we are! Gosh yes, what a sticky situation you are all in with him in power. And no doubt our fires would not even scratched the surface with all the political rumblings going on. Fiona

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  1. There wasn’t much coverage in Australia about the fires you had. Surprising, but maybe we were having fires at the same time. Fourteen years ago, Canberra (our national capital) lost 500 houses to bush fires. Your pictures are wonderful and so is your effort to support the wildlife.

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    • I can well believe that there wasn’t too much international coverage on it, yet for the Western Cape & South Africa it made breaking news headlines as it is the last thing we are needing while we are experiencing massive water shortages. Our dams are incredibly low so as a result all the helicopters were picking up water from the sea which is not terribly good for the fynbos but we cannot afford to use water from the already low dams to out the fires. I have a lot of family in Australia so hear about the fires you experience, they certainly are horrific & extremely hot wiping out many aches of land & houses as you say. Thank you for your cpmpliments I snapped these pictures from my phone, as didnt have my Canon camera on hand. However I too was very chuffed with the outcome of them think it helped that no zoom was used. Appreciate your comment it means so much to me. Fiona

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    • Aaah thank you for such a great comment. It was scary but this wasn’t the first time it has been close to our house. We had 2015 fires behind our house as well as the infamous 2000 fires that swept behind us, yet it is always a worry & reminder of the powerful destruction of nature when living so close alongside it. Fiona

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  2. The downside of Homo habilis, the human penchant for building houses, an illusion of control and permanency.
    Native peoples are credited with the saying “Only the mountains are forever.”
    In our modern scientific world, we know even they must submit to the natural courses of our universe.
    Still, as an emotional being, our hearts go out to all those lives disrupted by natural disasters.
    Lives of people, pets, wild animals, plants and insects. We’re all in this together.

    Seek peace,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Paz, thank you so much for such a wonderfully & true to the point message. I totally agree with you & love your way of thinking if only more were thinking along the same line. Yup as you say we are all in this together, good or bad! We have to follow through with our actions and resulting consequences.
      May you have a great day!

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