SPRING INTO LIFE
JASMINE is perfuming the air, the morning birdsong is deafening, and baby animals are appearing in farm paddocks.
It could only be the first day of spring.
Felicity and Brian Sherratt already have 22 lambs on the ground with at least 12 more to come in the flock of 60 Wiltshire horn self-fleecing sheep they run on their 80 ha farm, Lily Pily Country House, at Bellingen's Sunny Corner.
Yesterday Mr and Mrs Sherratt took time off from the farm and their three-year old boutique country accommodation business to celebrate Mrs Sherratt's birthday with a special lunch in Coffs Harbour, but today, with more visitors due to arrive as well as more lambs, they will be back at work.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a mild to warm and 'mainly fine' day today, but with isolated showers as a southerly change arrives with south-east winds.
At Coffs Harbour's Botanic Garden, botanist Alec Floyd suggests visitors looking for a floral fix today head for the pink tabebuia tree, with its vividly-glowing crown of sunlit pink flowers, or pause to admire the blossoming rare pink-flowered native, Boronia umbellata, an endangered two-metre shrub found only in the Glenreagh and Nana Glen area.
Meanwhile the official bushfire danger period for Coffs Harbour, the Clarence Valley and Bellingen starts today, while the danger period for the Nambucca Valley was declared on August 22. Anyone wanting to do hazard-reduction burning must now obtain a fire permit.
NSW Emergency Services Minister Tony Kelly yesterday officially handed over two new bushfire tankers, worth a total of $460,000, to volunteer firefighters from the Woolgoolga and Upper Orara Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigades and commended the volunteers for their hard work on behalf of their local communi-ties.
He also presented members of the two brigades with first-aid kits, portable Global Positioning System (GPS) units, and weather metres.