Each year the front yard explodes with the bounty of winter-flowering bulbs: tuberoses, jonquils of at least five different types, including the highly-perfumed and multi-layered clusters of the Erlicheers, and the dainty arches of the snowdrops. I know the latter are properly named ‘snowflakes’, but childhood memories and habits, as well as their drooping stems […]

Librarians are some of my favourite people, being book lovers like me. However, the grey-haired spinster in a drab cardigan no longer fits the bill. Nor are libraries just places of shush and half-asleep old men. Take young, cheery and goatee-d Adam Holland and his Wyong Shire Library in the enormous Westfield Tuggerah Shoppingtown on the […]

When the wisteria leaves begin to turn their beautiful clear yellow, they suddenly justify my colour choice of bright yellow for the painted wooden chairs on the verandah. It’s what I see through the window in front of my desk, so I’m very aware of the transition. My verandah is as big as my small […]

Thanks to Fleur Mcdonald for her kind remarks about Mountain Tails — read her review here.          

Each summer my verandah grows its own walls on the west and north-west. Although the ornamental grape and the wisteria have been pruned right back to leafless woody stems, come spring they begin to reach out for each other and interwine. By Christmas they have made dense, multi-layered walls of greenery that keep my verandah […]

Pinks, mauves, magentas, purples – spring is hitting the full spectrum now in its flower offerings. In the forest, the native Indigofera bushes have burst into prominence with masses of pinkish-mauve pea flowers, carried at about chest-height below the eucalypts. Normally their delicate foliage renders them less visible. Any garden would be graced by these. […]

Mist rises from the mountains opposite as morning light grows stronger. It reveals light snow has fallen overnight up there at 5000 feet. That’s in the wilderness area, so only the wallabies will be marking the snowfall with their prints. But the sun is rising too, and the mist begins to glow, tinged with rose […]

After being cabinbound for a week, when a morning came with no rain threatening, I seized the camera, donned gumboots and went a-walking. Most blatantly rainloving of all were the mosses, drab in dry times, at their party best now. On rocks in the gullies they glowed like textured velvet in a rich range of […]

Some of my garden shrubs are exhibiting extremely strange behaviour this autumn. Like the May bush, the Banksia rose, and the honeysuckle that smothers the outdoor loo. It would seem they aren’t sure what season it is. When they ought to be winding down and closing up shop for the winter, they are putting out […]

It’s easy to see when the predominant native grass in my `lawn’ is seeding, because the yard is taken over by a purposeful band of crimson rosellas. They proceed en masse up the slope, through thin grass as tall as themselves. Standing on one leg, each daintily grasps a seedhead stem with the claw of […]

My next Country Viewpoint, ‘Seasonal Confusion’, will be broadcast on the ABC Radio National programme ‘Bush Telegraph’ at 11:55am AEST on Thursday 3rd April, so tune in if you can. Or you can listen later on streaming audio or download a podcast from the Bush Telegraph website.

With temperatures veering from 13 to 35 degrees, neither the fauna nor the flora know what’s going on here. The snakes don’t know whether to hibernate or hunt, I’ve had to bring out the winter woollies, the autumn crocus are blooming and the ornamental grapevine began changing into its autumn colours only halfway through summer, […]

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