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 […]

A second Willy Wagtail decided to start a family on my other verandah. She made such a messy job of nest building, compared to the neat cylinder of my usual family, that I decided she must be a novice nester. Not only was it sloppy and sprawling untidily over the edge, but it seemed as […]

After so much rain, the early summer heat is encouraging growth and blossoming and inviting birds and bees to sample the offerings. It doesn’t seem to bother the plants that this heat alternates erratically with chilly mornings and nights. And of course these are all plants blessed by being despised by my munching macropods! My […]

Despite heavy prunings at ground level by the wallabies and hence a slow start until I netted the base, the Glory Vine has excelled itself this year, and run the whole length of my western mudbrick wall. In doing so, it has shaded all the windows – which was the intention. I never feel any […]

Late summer, and the smooth-trunked gum trees here have shed their bark clothes– perversely, just as it’s getting chilly. This  one near the path to the outdoor loo astonishes each time I walk by with the amount of bark strips from just one tree. No wonder we build up such a good fuel load for […]

Every summer the tussocky forest floor becomes decorated with the pink and magenta spires of native Hyacinth Orchids (Dipodium punctatum). Every other year I have seen only solitary spires, and mostly that is so this summer, except for this clump of four. Their combined pinkness was so noticeable from a distance that it drew me to […]

Tropical storms, fruit splitting, grass growing faster than the wallabies’ appetites, ground squelching underfoot, leeches on the march as soon as I leave the verandah… this is not how summer is supposed to be here. I am confined to the cabin and the verandah most of the time, and can only peer through the veil […]

One brooding and steamy day in February, so still in summer, the weather finally decided to go into action and rain on my patch. But it wasn’t completely decisive, as it retained the bright light and heat of sunshine as well. From my verandah, the sunshower looked like it was raining diamonds, but on ‘film’ it looked […]

I don’t plant annuals, so my garden is never the riot of colour that others manage. I rely on bushes and bulbs to surprise me with blossoms. Outside the house yard, the surrounding bush does the same. Lately there has been an explosion of blossom on a select few of the Angophora floribunda trees. The […]

The spectacular flower spikes of my King Orchids are long devoid of their blossoms, studded with only the tiny gold memories of where they were once attached. But last week I noticed that three of the spikes bore ribbed green lumps at their ends. One had twins! Up close they are elegantly sculpted, puffed and blown […]

Not cricket apparel or cool clothes, but flowers: free gifts that appear each summer to brighten my days and my by-then mostly green garden. They all receive my admiration but none of them need or receive any attention in between. The Spider Lilies are extraordinary, delicate space age creatures that prance and arabesque from fleshy […]

This summer is atypically steamy for my altitude (around 1000 metres or 3250 feet) and I am seeing strange phenomena that appear to be related to this new climate. Not the least of which are these surreal deposits, spotted only in one small area up the hill from my cabin. Several white blobs stood out […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...