Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 193

Winter has arrived in all it’s glory! It sure has been cold the last few days. And it has absolutely beautiful up here too. The other day I watched the most magical sunrise I have ever seen. The entire Tyenna Valley was a glowing with a soft golden light. The distant hills and mountains outlined in pink. And snow was falling, soft and fluffy flakes of snow gently drifting down from the sky. Shining white against the golden backdrop. I watched in awe and was reminded more than ever of what an incredible experience it is to live up here.

One afternoon I was sitting enjoying the last of the day’s sun, on a rather warm winter day, when three yellow tailed black cockatoos flew by. Hmmm…. I thought… looks like it’s going to rain. Though, it seemed unlikely given how sunny it was. But what do you know…. Next moment clouds had gathered across the sky and it began raining. I had never been totally convinced on the truth behind the theory that seeing precisely three black cockatoos flying in a group means rain is coming. I thought it must surely be a myth. But I have found up here that it is true every time. I don’t understand why, but it is. If there is one cockatoo, or five cockatoos then it doesn’t mean rain. But three…. it always rains. Next thing you know it had gone from a sunny day to a hectic storm. All night the wind lashed against the tarp and the water gathered and pooled in puddles, precariously above my head, so that I had to keep getting up in the middle of the night to tip them out, lest they collapse the tarp. By the morning it was so cold my fingers felt like ice-blocks and the snow had joined the rain to make an icy slosh in the puddles.

The following morning, there was no snow but there was  a thick layer of frost, so that when I pulled my tarp open it didn’t make its usual crinkling sound, but instead came the sound of cracking ice. Outside on the deck I had to step very tentatively and carefully, as the platform was coated in ice and very slippery.

But in between the snow and ice there has been moments of sunshine. It is amazing how different the winter sunshine compared to summer. I love the way the air seems so crisp and fresh. And the colours seem so radiant in the forest. I was enjoying taking some photos of a little bird who was also taking advantage of the winter sunshine. I went inside to put the camera away, leaving the tarp open. I turned around and thought to myself…. what on earth is all that white fluff on my blanket? I stepped in for a closer look and suddenly I was covered in it too…. ah yes… it was snow and it has snuck in silently and quickly to cover my blanket within a minute!

If Thursday and friday were the days of snow. Then yesterday’s special feature would have to be the rainbow. I think I saw at least ten different rainbows throughout the day. Most were specatacularly vivid and bright.

I must apologise for not blogging lately. Although I have been having a great time enjoying the weather, I have also been having a very frustrating time dealing with technology and power. Oh, how easy it used to be in the city; anytime you want to charge something up all you have to do is go to the wall and plug it in. Oh, the joys of unlimited energy! Up here it is never quiet so simple. And the last few days have been some of the most challenging on this side of things. Every time I went to charge my computer there would be a horrible loud ‘beeeep’ emitted from the inverter. Usually an indication that the battery it is plugged into isn’t charged enough. So a very loyal supporter walked an hour in to see me carrying a very heaving car battery. Finally I have that all set up and am very excited to get the computer going again and get stuck into work. You would not believe how much I was longing to do some work. I was starting to feel jealous of all those people working in offices…. oh to be able to work and work and work on the computer, what a luxury! I sat down at my new desk, thinking about what I was going to write for my blog. And then all of a sudden….’beeep’….. Oh no! The new battery wasn’t working either. So that very same dedicated and loyal supporter came  back the next day, an hour in and an hour out, to deliver me a new inverter. I said, I better test this while your still here, to make sure that it is all working. Yep, all good. Soon as he was gone, what do you know? The terrible ‘beeep’ was back. A new inverter and a new battery… what could possibly be the problem now? I wondered if it might be the cold affecting everything? prehaps. For the third time my loyal supporter walked in again, this time to deliver a different battery and inverter. Thank goodness it has worked and I am finally back online!

It’s funny how the last few days have felt harder than most. I started to wonder: what on earth am I doing up here? Can I really keep going and for how long? I felt frustrated and agitated. I tried to keep myself entertained, but I got bored quickly. I have become so dependent on my computer in order to feel productive, I guess. When I can write my blog, communicate with supporters around the world, spread the word about the forests, keep up to date with what is happening for the forests politically  and keep on top of other tasks, then I feel positive about being up here. But it is easy to start to feel ineffective when those lines of communication are taken away. I guess that really is the amazing thing about the Observer Tree. The fact that I can be in this tree in the middle of the forest in Tasmania and be communicating to people across the globe about what is happening here. And hopefully all the people who have found out about these forests and about the destruction that continues to occur, have gone on to be inspired to take action. When I’m sitting up here on nights like tonight, where my fingers ache as I type because the air is so cold, I think about that and I know that it is worth it.

Well, I must say a big thank you to my support crew for their dedication and hard work in carrying batteries and inverters back and forth through the forest in order to keep me online. And thank you to all of you for your patience with the lack of blog entries. And especially a very big thank you to every one who is reading my blog, taking action and supporting forest protection – you are my inspiration to keep going up here!

Miranda

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Posted on June 24, 2012, in Daily Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Hi Miranda
    So in awe of you up there in the cold. I can’t even imagine how bleak it must get at times and how wonderful, magical and inspired at others. Sometime when you want to read, check out TreeSisters (http://www.treesisters.org) if you haven’t already.
    Love what you’re doing for the trees and for all of us. xx Pollyanna

  2. Oh Miranda. I have been thinking I was cold in the office in the ec the last week, and I have only thought of you. Far out thank you for sharing with us that you are human and you have been feeling that cold. Cause I was wondering!!!
    Love to you always.

  3. Allegra Biggs Dale

    Hi Miranda
    We’ve been thinking about you and spreading the news of your commitment to the forest and its creatures. Yesterday I shared your story with women in a solstice yoga retreat and they were all very impressed by your actions and determination to stay put till the agreements are signed off, your courage is very appreciated.
    Today I’m concerned as to the weather forecast overnight and hope you are battened down in preparation for extreme wind conditions. Please take particular cautionary measures to ensure your safety, hunker down to protect yourself on that platform
    The universe is caring for you along with your incredible support team, so tay strong, I hope to meet you one day, you’re such an inspiration!
    Allegra Bruny Island

  4. Keep up the fight Miranda you’re doing an excellent job. Bob (Brown) reminded us of you on Friday night at the Fitzroy Town Hall. The small draft blowing through the front door was nothing compared to what you must be experiencing. At least the days are getting longer now so hopefully your power problems will disappear too. You may be one but hundreds of thousands are behind you.

  5. Hi Miranda,
    I have a 7 year old grandson and on the mornings I read your blog we discuss it in the car on the way to school. I think that he is slowly learning to appreciate what your mission. I myself am so in awe of what your doing and I wish that I had the guts to even thinking about living in a tree let alone attempting it. The best I feel I can do is talk to people about what you are doing and hope that people power can move mountains. Take care of yourself and stay safe.
    Terry Keir

  6. Miranda,
    words can not describe the gratitude and amazement I have for you for your dedication in what you are doing to keep the world informed on what is going on in this beautiful part of Tasmania. It blows me away that with all the difficulties you have with living out there alone, with all the elements that nature is throwing your way that your only frustrations is with technology! You go girl!!! You are a true gem 🙂

    Craig Devlin, Airlie Beach ,QLD

  7. So glad to hear the latest inventor and battery are working fine….. Fantastic support from the crew. Stay safe and warm beautiful xxxxx

  8. i didnt forget ya love…knew u was coppin it…bloody cold & wet here as is….thought of bein up a tree in it here with no snow was not a pleasant thought…been livin off grid over successfully for 25+ years usin solar etc….here’ s some feed back for u….inverter low voltage alarm means Inverter doin its job but battery voltage run down…main prob. would have been severe shortage of SUN light…unfortunately if battery voltage drops below 50% its capacity for any length of time, battery goes into cardiac arrest & suffers major stroke….they are rarely the same again & just cant hold a charge…in order to prevent this happening again, u need a voltage monitor in digital readout…when voltage gets to 12volts u have to switch every load off battery….(including inverter as they draw a small current too)…best time to use power is when sun is shining on your solar panel …..try to avoid using any power if battery voltage is low. (Digital Voltage Monitor)…that way your battery will limp on for another sunny day….basically unless u have a large battery storage capacity, this time of the year means, no sun = no power…..the cold also tests an ageing battery out too….these battery monitors are under $4 delivered from HK & work really well with bugger all battery drain = http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/12V-24V-LCD-Digital-LED-Car-Battery-Voltage-Meter-Monitor-Tester-Voltmeter-Gauge-/110899707075?pt=AU_B_I_Electrical_Test_Equipment&hash=item19d2233cc3#ht_3049wt_979 ………..u’ll need a cig. lighter socket with alligator clips to plug it into & connect to battery too…= http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Lighter-socket-cig-12v-accessory-auxilary-adapter-lead-/350369942672?pt=UK_Campervan_Caravan_Accessories&hash=item5193ad0c90#ht_782wt_698 …….although u can get these locally in any supercheap auto or electronics store….the other thing is a normal car battery is not suitable for a solar setup…they are designed to start cars…the most suitable battery for u is a Deep Cycle AGM (Absorption Glass Mat)…they are bloody expensive though….(aprrox $300) …recommend this one because its the best value for the $ = http://www.allpurposebatteries.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=146 …this guy will usually ship them for free…u may like to forward this info onto your Tech. support crew….if i can be of any further assistance please let me know….GB

  9. Hi Miranda, I love hearing from you, I am amazed at your spirit, you are an inspitation. This effort can not go unrewarded. I spread the news of your commitment.
    Big hugs, Karin

  10. Allegra Biggs Dale

    Hi Miranda, can’t stop thinking about you especially after the 50knots night before last! Let us know you are safe and sound, it was so wild here on Bruny Island. We are all warm and cozy and wondering if you’re ok. Please post asap so we know you’re ok! Lots of love from all your followers who care so much for you, stay safe, warm and strong! Allegra, Bruny Island

  11. Hi miranda, I am in awe of your strength and endurance. here its just windy and wet, although it feels like sleet (yes, I’m in Queensland!) Its hard to imagine the snow on your bed… i too have been having serious winter lackof sunshine/solar problems here. and have everything turned off so i can keep working on the computer writing Franklin Upriver activist book, which is countng down to final days of the writing… I just think the advice about excellent AGM batteries is true. They quickly pay for themselves as they don’t get killed on low voltage. i went through 4-5 car batteries before i bought a AGM one- small one $126 from Jaycar, later got a big beastie one- (62kg!) for $400 half price- they’ve been great. of course a few days sun would make a big difference- maybe you need a pedal powered, battery charger- it would keep you warm too!… best of luck. hope you are warm and snug in your swag tonight….Peace & love…

  12. Love your work, Miranda. You are a true inspiration.

  13. Hi Miranda, it’s Mick from National Geographic. You are an amazing woman and it was an honour to meet you and interview you. It was chilly when we spoke in January, I cannot imagine how cold and tough it must be for you up there now. Your strength of spirit is a light and an inspiration for us all.

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