The devastating Sampson Flat fires in January 2015 left a swathe of blackened landscapes and fallen trees across the Adelaide Hills. The last of the flames were extinguished by heavy rainfall brought by a series of low pressure troughs linked to cyclones in the north of Australia. These rains have triggered the recovery process already, with a sheen of green across the blackened ground.
At first glance the blackened trunks and browned-off leaves are a gut-wrenching sight, with so little left of the habitat for local wildlife. Then, on closer inspection, the miracle of recovery has already started. The epicormic buds of the eucalypts have sprung into life, emerging in tiny clusters from the base of trees or up along the trunks. Tiny acacia seedlings are just emerging from the soil.
Nature has started the healing process, but it will take a long time before the tree canopy is restored and the shrub cover is dense enough to provide shelter for birds and small animals. The emerging growth will provide a symbol of re-birth, hope and recovery for the whole hills community.