seasons

Alerted to look up from my desk by whirling aerial activity outside, I saw about six Welcome Swallows flying round and round the back yard airspace.  It looked as frenetic as when the young first fly, but I haven’t noticed any nests on my verandahs or eaves. There seemed to be other birds in the […]

I was waiting for the last Autumn leaves to fall from my ornamental grapevine before pruning it, as I have always done. But this crazily warm Winter weather has confused the vine into sending forth new Spring growth shoots of leaves and flowers. All along its length the bright green new leaves have lost patience […]

Rainbows always make me smile; no corporation has found a way to despoil them yet, or to capture and sell them. In less-than-bright times, with less-than-visionary (!) leaders, I need all the bright spots Nature can offer to keep my spirits up. And then I realised the rainbow had a second fainter image, a pale […]

Here on the coast, we lack the crispness to create stunning avenues of Autumn colour as in the Southern Highlands or Canberra. But my Glory Vine, or Ornamental Grape, does its best. It has been moving with me via cuttings from the Mountain original. It colours differently here, but then our Autumns are not the […]

I am fortunate to have Jacaranda trees outside my house, splashing my skies and carpeting my road with purple. I call it purple, but is it really somewhere in between lilac and purple? In fact, my Spring garden has many variations on a theme of purple, like the ubiquitous but still lovely Agapanthus plants, which […]

Having now been in this new home for a year, I am seeing the first Spring of my plantings, a promise of what my envisaged garden will be like. Planting citrus trees was a priority, given that I grew up on an orange orchard and I still find the scent of orange blossom the most […]

This is an extract from Chapter 16, ‘Let the sun shine’ in The Woman on the Mountain. It was also included as a stand-alone piece in an anthology by Catchfire Press called Stories for a Long Summer (2006). Summer once meant glorious, golden sunshine, for outdoor playing and swimming, from sunup to sundown if we […]

Kind of creepily flesh-like, with its pairs of pointy-toed pink ‘legs’ and that gaping orifice;  kind of disgustingly gooey, with those red wet lumps, which yet are almost like the secretions of raw wounds. The pink fleshy stems add to the plant or animal dilemma (hence the ‘phalloid’ species). But the ‘yuck’ factor increases at […]

It’s Autumn, so many locals are burning off their grasslands, or setting fire to their stacked bonfires of fallen branches and creek logjam clearings. Being Autumn, it’s also a time of misty mornings and low-angled sunray surprises in this valley. This particular morning I was treated to a combination of them both, as the sun’s […]

My Glory Vine is wearing its Autumn garb; when the leaves turn red, right? They look red, as I come out to the verandah, with the morning light behind it. But then I step outside and look back at it and the shade of the main leaves externally is so different that I have no […]

It’s autumn, and I welcome the cooler mornings, but we are also having daily deluges more like tropical summer storms. In the first five days of March we had 124 mm — or six inches if you’re my age — and that’s on top of what we’d already received in 2017.  By New Year it […]

This Spring the Welcome Swallows and the Willy Wagtails have both chosen to raise their families on my verandah. The Willy Wagtails built a tidy and solid new nest, a smooth cylinder of cobwebs and grass and bodily fluids. The slack Swallows just re-used the old one; didn’t even shore up the crumbling structure, just […]

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