Day 390, part 2 – It was water what did it

It seems that this morning, the Cape Town fire has been finally brought under control, although mopping up might take as much as another week.

And, in a real shock revelation, despite the many (many, many) prayers for rain, it didn’t.

Didn’t happen.

Super helpful. Next time, do something worthwhile and donate energy drinks and eye drops to the firefighters.

This guy wasn’t even praying. he was asking others to do it for him. Shocking.

The unaffected parts were indeed spared. That’s what unaffected means.
However, in contrast, the affected parts were roundy fucked.

Great choice of image. Thanks for the thoughts to the sky fairies. It didn’t rain. At all.

No, it turns out that it was the helicopters with the big buckets full of water underneath that was what finally got the fire under control. That and the firefighters working tirelessly all night with hoses and beaters.

Not the rain. That never turned up. God wasn’t interested.

Day 390 – Don’t get carried away

Spotted on twitter, and one of those very few things that actually made me laugh out loud.

Talking of, I added the Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) to my List Of Birds I’ve Seen From My Garden on Sunday evening. A flock of 11 birds passed by overhead. Pretty unusual for this bit of Cape Town – I was wondering if they’d maybe been disturbed by the fire, but then the fire wasn’t particularly close to any flamingoey areas. Maybe they were upset with all the smoke. Maybe they pass by all the time and I’ve never seen them. Maybe this was a one-off.

We’ll likely never know.

I didn’t feel at all threatened or scared by them, and so kept my gun holstered throughout the event.

Day 389 – Of helicopters

Helicopter news. Firstly, tenuously, the Cape Town fire continues today. Reports that it was under control were quickly rubbished by a huge flare-up and with the South Easter continuing to pump, the City Bowl remains the place not to be this afternoon. The helicopters were doing their bit when they could, but the wind has kept them grounded for at least some of the day. The fire is heading the other way from us at the moment, but we can still smell smoke everywhere and there is ash falling in the garden. There has been a lot of damage, not least to the UCT library:

And some video here.

Elsewhere, a local radio station reported on a trail runner who was chased by the fire yesterday. She’s pretty fast.

10 to 20 km per second is rapid.
10km/s is about Mach 30.
20km/s is 72,000kph. That’s 2½ times faster than the International Space Station travels.

Lisette was very, very lucky to survive unscathed, given that running at that speed, she would likely have spontaneously burst into flames from the air resistance alone. I don’t know how she did it.

More seriously, the emergency numbers to call in Cape Town are Landline: 021 480 7700 or Cell phone: 107.

And then, another helicopter thing, this time 287.52 million km away.

It might not look like much, but I remember the first time I flew my drone. It was amazing and that was only done in my living room. It wasn’t on Mars. And I didn’t video it.

I watched the live feed at NASA’s JPL as the data from this flight came in. Absolutely incredible.

Here’s the full video. Mind-blowing stuff.

Day 387 – Nature, innit?

A few photos as promised.

Mole snake on the beach. Cape Bunting in the bushes. Cape Spurfowl in the garden.

Better than bathrooms, right?

One cool thing I noticed was the reflection of me and my daughter in the eye of the snake:

… we remained a respectful distance away. Promise.