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….
You can always tell when there’s a fire starting…..the loud crackle is a dead giveaway…….
They’re not very far away…..
…and start with a roar……
but within a few minutes, they dwindle away and are gone.
Sometimes, like this one, they’re at night…..but sometimes……in the early calm of morning…..
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…..
…and the ground is levelled ready to be planted with a new crop
and the cycle continues……
Sugary sweet hugs xox :O)