Friday, 14 June 2013

Sugar crush…

Nooooo, not the game!!!

Winter in North Queensland signifies the start of the sugar crushing……known locally as ‘the crush’, it starts usually after the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, which is the first weekend in June, but this year it started a couple of weeks early.

Sugar is one of the major agricultural crops around where we live and much of our economy is fuelled by the ‘black snow’ or ash that falls during the canefires.  I do love the smell of cane burning and the sweet scent of sugar filling the air  (although the ash settling on the car, covering washing on the line, and every square inch of ground does get to me a bit by the end of the year!!!)   Still, I always look forward to the first fires of the season, and this year, it happened close to home early…. 

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You can always tell when there’s a fire starting…..the loud crackle is a dead giveaway…….

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They’re not very far away…..

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…and start with a roar……

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but within a few minutes, they dwindle away and are gone.

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Sometimes, like this one, they’re at night…..but sometimes……in the early calm of morning…..

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Why burn at all, you might ask?  Well, where we live, we are blessed with a natural aquifer that gives a plentiful supply of water…..no such thing as water restrictions here, although we pay for its use.  Sooooo, the cane is thick and also plentiful of green strappy leaves, so to ease wear on the machinery and to cut costs and for numerous other reasons, (such as vermin) they burn the ‘trash’ away prior to cutting.

And the cycle continues, year after year………what was once a thick crop has been cut and cleared to bare flat earth…..

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…and the ground is levelled ready to be planted with a new crop

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and the cycle continues……

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Sugary sweet hugs xox  :O)

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12 comments:

shez said...

very interesting Wendy,thankyou for sharing.xx

Anita said...

Thanks for sharing those pics, they are amazing. I bet the crackling of the fire is scary??
Cheers, Anita.

Marilyn said...

The fires are amazing the way they take off with a roar and then burn down in no time. Great pics, Wendy.

Noela said...

Enjoyed reading your post. It must be hard with the washing though. Hugs....

Allie said...

Hey sweet girl - love the new blog "do" and your gorgeous new header - so wishing I could have joined you and Jen and Bloss for a cuppa!!!!! Great pics but oh that fire looks scary close!

Farm Gate Creations said...

Very interesting post, thanks for the great pics.

sandi s said...

Amazing pics! Thank you, that is great info. I had no idea this was done. Have a great day. Hugs, Sandi

Miss Nancy said...

Most interesting! I learned something new today! Thank you for sharing. Great photos as well!

Have a super great sewing and stitching day!

tich said...

This was fascinating, but a bit scary, surely. does it ever get out of control?

~Laurie~ said...

So interesting! It is amazing year after year, the cycle returns. I wondered too if the burning ever gets out of control? And does it really smell sweet in the air?

desertskyquilts said...

They do this around March in Texas each year, and one year, we could see it for miles away, the flames shot so high. A little scary!

debbie said...

what an interesting post...amazing how we can have so much in common yet lead such different day to day lives. thanks! xx debbie