Last year's Spring Plant Fair in Bellingen was hot and muggy, and it was tipping down by midday.
This year, we had no such luck, despite the crying need for rain to halt the fire monster to the north-west, still burning on multiple fronts within Guy Fawkes River National Park, Mount Hyland Nature Reserve and Nymboi-Binderay National Park.
As usual, the plant fair was a sanctuary of greenery and beauty, with people thronging to it from up and down the north coast.
Sharon Kerr from Iluka, who was clutching an enormous bromeliad, said she always comes. "There are things here you just can't get anywhere else," she said.
The Bellingen Environment Centre, who stage the plant fair twice a year as their main fundraiser, were doing a roaring trade in Great Koala National Park t-shirts and distributing information about the Friends of Kalang Headwaters campaign.
Trevor and Bec Oliver-King, who had stopped by the BEC stall to buy a t-shirt, said their daughter Ruby was currently down from her perch high in a tree at the protest camp and helping to fight the fires at Mount Hyland.