If you have been following the news in Australia or virtually anywhere else in the world, you’ll know that much of this country has been on fire. Some of the worst devastation has been in the states of Victoria and New South Wales.
Almost 30 people have died, about 6000 homes and buildings have been lost, more than a billion animals have died and 19 million hectares (46 million acres) of land have been burnt. Here’s a rundown of the unbelievable devastation.
So what’s to smile about? It’s a combination of things.
First, today is the 17th anniversary of the horrific bushfires that swept through Canberra. Four lives and about 500 homes were lost back then. That’s reason for immense sadness, but today no fires are burning in the Australian Capital Territory. They are nearby, but not upon us. Our firefighters have worked hard to be better prepared.
Second, today (18 January) is National Winnie the Pooh Day and our own Pooh Bear’s Corner has survived, which leads me straight to the third item.
Third, today is when I saw a delightful artwork that thanks our many firefighters for saving Pooh Bear’s Corner, a small cave on the Kings Highway, which is the way from Canberra to Australia’s South Coast.
We’ve driven past Pooh Bear’s Corner regularly for almost 40 years. But we haven’t been by lately. Because of fires, the road has been closed for more than a month, and reopened earlier this week. Luckily the firefighters have been on duty and Pooh Bear’s Corner has been spared.
As an amazing thank you to the firefighters, Canberra artist, Mick Ashley, created a gorgeous artwork that is available for sale (see above). I think this work is amazing and so poignant. You can order here if you’d like to buy one. All proceeds go to fire relief.
A bit about Pooh Bear’s Corner
More than 40 years ago, David and Barbara Carter from Crookwell created Pooh Bear’s Corner in an effort to distract their children’s pleas of ‘are we there yet’.
Each time they passed, they put signs at Pooh’s Corner and hoped they wouldn’t get in trouble. Then they noticed other people were leaving teddy bears or honey or just a little message for Pooh.
This has gone on for years. We’ve often stopped to say hello to the many Pooh stuffed animals.
I don’t have any current pics of Pooh Bear’s Corner, but I know it has survived. In the meantime enjoy Mick Ashley’s stunning artwork.
P.S. I just found a pic of Pooh Corner that I took three years ago.