From Victoria State, in Southern Australia, Dale McDonnell reports that she and her Cannas are shriveling. The temperature on her patio on the cool east side of our house is 48.9 degrees Celsius -- over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. There is a blistering hot gale blowing and her whole garden is shriveling as she watches, despite being heavily watered last night. Even the privet hedge has dropped all its leaves. The air is filled with smoke and dust coming from further north.
Dale stated that, "Major bushfires are raging in several areas of the State, but fortunately none close to us. With the record temperatures and gale force winds, the volunteer fire fighters of the Country Fire Authority have no hope of controlling or even containing these fires. The wind is so strong, I doubt the fire dousing helicopters will be able to fly. Spare a prayer for those being affected by these fires, many of which have been deliberately lit by fire bugs."
"A cool change is predicted for the southern part of the State. Let's hope it brings rain with it. No relief for us in the north until Sunday."
"It will be interesting to see how the Cannas come through this. Newly planted cannas in a bed outside our back door are laughing at the conditions and look fantastic, but they are protected from the worst of the wind by the house."