Marking time in June 2005
The Swedish Axe Throwing Society organises an annual championship competition, as I learned from the excellent website of Gränsfors Bruks AB, makers of hand forged axes.
The website pitches a story of Gränsfors Bruk reinventing itself. Loggers don’t use axes now, but craftspeople, campers and householders do. The website doesn’t have a mission statement, but it does set out five fundamental theses. There is no smiling mugshot of a CEO in a suit, but there is a picture of the blacksmiths in their work clothes. Each axe head is the work of one of these smiths, and is stamped with his initials once he is satisfied with it.
Fire scars in the desert
I enjoyed the startling calligraphy of these fire scars in the Simpson Desert.
The fire scars were produced in a recent fire, probably within the last year. The image suggests a time sequence of events. Fires first advanced into the view from the lower left—parallel with the major dune trend and dominant wind direction. Then the wind shifted direction by about 90 degrees so that fires advanced across the dunes in a series of frond-like tendrils. Each frond starts at some point on the earlier fire scar, and sharp tips of the fronds show where the fires burned out naturally at the end of the episode. The sharp edges of the fire scars are due to steady but probably weak southwesterly winds—weaker winds reduced sparking of additional fires in adjacent scrub on either side of the main fire pathways. Over time, the scars will become less distinct as vegetation grows back.