Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 107

I’m back online! Yay! I’m so sorry to all my loyal blog-followers for the great big gap in my on-line life! Things all went a little bit haywire a week ago when I had what could be called a “snow storm.” My poor computer suffered terribly from moisture damage and refused to turn on. It was such a shame because I had written you all a lovely blog about the snow and was even making you a little video to show how spectacular the forest was looking in the snow. And then… it was all over for my poor computer who really would have preferred to spend its life in a nice warm, dry office somewhere in town, I’m sure. It’s been taken back to town for repairs and hopefully, fingers crossed, it will recover. Now I have a new computer. And a special water-proof, shock-proof, pelican case to keep out all that nasty moisture that seems to be floating around constantly in the air up here these days!  I am hoping that the computer people will at least be able to save my documents and one of these days I will get to upload for you my blog and video about the snow. It was in fact the best day that I have had up here so far! What a day! And for my 100th day, no less! Out of the blue, a cold snap and so much snow. All kinds of snow… soft floating flakes that drifted down gently through the air, silently settling on the tips of branches. And then at other times, it was like a blizzard up here, the tree shaking about as the snow was thrown about in a turmoil by the wind, hammering pellets of snow hard against my exposed face and hands. And then at other times, the snow turned hard, morphing into hail. Or as it could be called “snail” (a snow/ hail hybrid) which jumped about like tiny bouncing balls and ricocheted off my platform. (I think some of these little fellows were partly responsible for the final destruction of the computer, after making small holes in the top of my tarp!).

Snow is one of my favourite things! It isn’t like common old rain. It is something special. Whenever it’s snowing I just can’t stop looking, watching, witnessing the miracle. It has the feeling of something magical. And the forest seemed like a magical place that day as the snow fell over the valley. Just one day. To celebrate my 100 day achievement. And then, the next day it was back to normal, like nothing had ever happened. Except, it didnt’ feel normal any more. The forest had a special glow about it the next morning. For some reason the sunlight seemed extra golden, and the leaves seemed extra green. The colours seemed somehow sharper, more radiant. The brilliant blue sky contrasting against the white tops of the snow-capped mountains that shimmered in the sunlight. The birds were out in full force, celebrating the sun with their cacophony of songs. Yep, the post-snow day was full of magic too.

Every time I start to feel like I had come to love and appreciate this forest as much as I possibly could… something happens. And I find that there is an even greater depth of appreciation that I had never even imagined. Things keep happening that lead me to see the forest in a new light, a new way, to love it even more and more and more. Snow day  was one of those moments. Ever since that day I have seen the forest differently. Like I know a beautiful secret, that it has shared with me. I have seen its magic. And I will never forget it.

Now the weather has settled into a perfect equilibrium, not too hot nor too cold. Three days of pure sunshine! With nights of star-filled skies. It may not last long, I know that. The cold of the upcoming winter will start to move in again, any day now, I’m sure. But for now, I’m enjoying the pleasantness of this unexpected sunny weather. Though, of course, I am secretly looking forward to more snow!

Oh, there is so much to catch up on! I feel like it has been so long since I’ve been able to tell you anything! The biggest thing that has happened in regards to the forests has been the release of the reports by Jonathan West and his team of experts, which document the conservation values of the forests. There are about 2000 pages worth of reports, with lot of juicy information that I’m sure you can’t wait to hear about. So check out my blog over this coming week, because now that I’m back online I can’t wait to be updating you on all the interesting facts that I’ve been reading about!

My other very exciting news is that this morning I got to Skype into a group of school students in Victoria, aged 8-9 years of old. I talked to them about these forests, the Tasmanian devils that live here, what life is like up the tree, and gave a little tour of my tree-top home. It was a lovely moment of inspiration when I finished my little talk and saw all those hands shoot up into the air, keen as beans to ask lots of questions. They wanted to know how I get all my things up here, how I have a bath and go to the loo, what animals I’ve seen, how long I am going to stay up here, can I just ask the government to stop cutting down the trees? And what my plan is if the government doesn’t listen.

On one last note, unfortunately the unexpected extra expense of a new computer and the new super extra water-proof case has drained our limited funds quiet a bit. If anyone out there could spare a donation to help out it would be so much appreciated. You can pop money straight into our bank account any time you like! The details are below. Thank you so much!

Thanks for your patience and sticking it out through this long gap in my “daily” blog!

Miranda

Bank details for Observer Tree:
Bendigo Bank
Acc Name: Still Wild Still Threatened
Acc Number: 144673571
BSB: 633000

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Posted on March 30, 2012, in Daily Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thanks Miranda – beautiful to read, my heart is with you from the warm, rainy north of the mainland xoxox

  2. Do you need any extra thermals? Experiencing your love for the forest vicariously is a joyous thing. Thanks so much for sharing. Miss you + love you heaps xxx

  3. Hello Miranda.

    Good to hear your ok and back online.

    Professor Jonathan West and his Independent Verification Groupcertainly have been busy.
    Here’s the link to the March 2012 Report:
    http://www.environment.gov.au/land/forests/independent-verification/report.html

    The initial ‘Capstone Report’ is a useful start to read, particularly Professor Brendan Mackey’s executive summary on ‘Forest conservation’ from page 10.

    The 572,000 ha of proposed forest reserves are labelIed as “ENGO Forest” for convenience in the report – there are 270 identified discrete areas (“polygons”).

    I like the complex interpretation of “benefit” of an ENGO forest comprising ten conservation values: (i) Representation of forest biodiversity; (ii) Habitat for listed threatened species; (iii) Refugia; (iv) Old-growth; (v) Wilderness; (vi) Heritage; (vii) Connectivity; (viii) Restoration; (ix) ecosystem services and (x) Unique features.

    High Conservation Value (HCV) has been rated for each of the 270 discrete polygons with scores from 0 to 29.

    IMPORTANT: Appendix 8 does not include the Styx Valley or the Observer Tree. Why not?

    Back on the executive summary (pp20,21) it only refers to the Styx as worthy of ‘restoration’.

    “A number of areas were identified in some detail that would benefit from ecological
    restoration and in particular restoration of wilderness values. It was noted that in some
    areas even though there has been extensive disturbance from logging and conversion
    activities, where the area was assessed by the IVG as meeting World Heritage criteria
    (e.g. the Styx Valley) a long-term view should be taken of the benefits of active
    management to assist ecological recovery.”

    But The Styx has much intact forest and giant trees, Devil and quoll habitat and abutts the WHA! It was only excluded from the WHA because old loggers wanted to log the giant trees. I can only assume the IVG was a rush job from a very high satellite.

    My quick read of this report is that the Styx remains vulnerable to logging. Hopefully your team can read more into it that affords protection, and I may have missed something.

  4. Hello Miranda.

    Good to hear you’re ok and back online.

    Professor Jonathan West and his Independent Verification Group certainly have been busy.
    Here’s the link to the March 2012 Report:
    http://www.environment.gov.au/land/forests/independent-verification/report.html

    The initial ‘Capstone Report’ is a useful start to read, particularly Professor Brendan Mackey’s executive summary on ‘Forest conservation’ from page 10.

    The 572,000 ha of proposed forest reserves are labelIed as “ENGO Forest” for convenience in the report – there are 270 identified discrete areas (“polygons”).

    I like the complex interpretation of “benefit” of an ENGO forest comprising ten conservation values: (i) Representation of forest biodiversity; (ii) Habitat for listed threatened species; (iii) Refugia; (iv) Old-growth; (v) Wilderness; (vi) Heritage; (vii) Connectivity; (viii) Restoration; (ix) ecosystem services and (x) Unique features.

    High Conservation Value (HCV) has been rated for each of the 270 discrete polygons with scores from 0 to 29.

    IMPORTANT: Appendix 8 does not include the Styx Valley or the Observer Tree. Why not?
    Back on the executive summary (pp20,21) it only refers to the Styx as worthy of ‘restoration’.

    “A number of areas were identified in some detail that would benefit from ecological
    restoration and in particular restoration of wilderness values. It was noted that in some
    areas even though there has been extensive disturbance from logging and conversion
    activities, where the area was assessed by the IVG as meeting World Heritage criteria
    (e.g. the Styx Valley) a long-term view should be taken of the benefits of active
    management to assist ecological recovery.”

    But The Styx has much intact forest and giant trees, Devil and quoll habitat and abutts the WHA! It was only excluded from the WHA because old loggers wanted to log the giant trees.

    I can only assume the IVG was a rush job from a very high satellite.

    My quick read of this report is that the Styx remains vulnerable to logging. Hopefully your team can read more into it that affords protection, and I may have missed something.

  5. Inspriational (as usual), as the snow sparkled and melted so did my heart. 🙂
    you have overcome your loss, with a masterpiece of words
    soon as i have some funds to spare, they are coming your way ❤

  6. From Spain…thank you Miranda for your most inspiring action on behalf of the rest of us. It is wonderful to read how you are gaining so much grace and inspiration in your living arangements, becoming, so to speak, a better soul in your reduced circumstance…so Ghandi-like. Keep it up, good girl and I love you very much for what you are doing.

  7. Miranda… your writing is *always* so extremely moving. It’s almost dreamy in it’s poignancy for a nanosecond in time, but ultimately, as I’m reading, the hyper-reality of 100 days + fighting to protect the place you now call home, is ever-present in my mind.

    I want to thank-you for your selflessness on behalf of the selfish, for one day they will realise, it is only animals like you that have earnt the title, of ‘human “kind”‘. I desperately hope for your habitat, this ‘one day’ is not bittersweet. Rather, I hope with all my heart, this ‘one day’, is very soon.

    If anyone has that transformative power within their hands, it is you – through just what you are doing. Although you are the only human in your forest canopy, you are certainly not alone.

  8. Hi Miranda,
    Thank you SO much for your work and your words… you have made my day. Its really inspiring and pulls on my heart, I love that island dearly and those special parts of it. It makes me rage at the stupidity and loss of such things. I will be sending people to your blog to check out and connect with. And will endevour to get add some pennies to your account.
    Much gratitude

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