Winter

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 […]

Fortunately some of the most sweetly scented bulb blooms are at their best in Winter. Erlicheer are my favourite, on the plant and in a vase. They have naturalised and multiplied here, need no care, and the critters don’t eat them. In other words, a wonder plant! Next to my bird bath I planted this […]

A yellow Robin has appeared, flicking itself from one bush or tree or tree guard to another, more like a wind-blown leaf than a bird in flight. It stays still in any one place for such a short time that it’s hard to get a photo of it. When it lands on the ground you […]

As the grass grows more slowly, the wallabies and roos are being driven to eat plants they don’t regularly fancy.  This wallaby was being very intense about one of the rosemary bushes, which are all grotesquely pruned each winter to leggy topknots. Several branches were held firmly together in his paws while he stripped them. […]

On the first day of July I woke to our coldest morning yet this year — 4ºC — and light patches of frost. Frost always surprises me as to where it is found and where not, but its decorative and novelty values are always appreciated here. My favourite rock with its gloriously complex lichen adornments […]

These last few winter weeks have been my ideal weather: warm, still days and cold nights, no bushfire or snake worries. Getting cosy at night with my wood fires, by day enjoying a sun that doesn’t try to fry my skin in an unguarded instant. My wallaby mates love it, and the in-pouch joeys of […]

After a few weeks away, I was keen for the rainy days to end so I could walk about and see what had changed since Autumn had become Winter. And at 8ºC on the verandah, Winter it sure was. A sunny day, the wallabies busily stripping my shrubs as usual, revealed that some of my […]

We all know how mothers have to be on the ball to keep an eye on the young. This was borne home to me afresh by my wallaby mates lately. After days of dreary chilly rain, the sun came out. The only wallabies that seemed even half-awake were the mums with toddlers. This one had […]

Much of this winter has been spent at the computer, writing more book talks. It’s cosy inside my cabin, with the slow combustion wood heater going all the time but fully banked down, as once the mud brick walls have heated up, they hold the warmth. No heat transfer at all. But I am also […]

At my altitude frosts are so rare that I note them on my rain chart. They do little damage and give me new visual pleasures from their special effects. As always in nature, closer observations repays with small and extraordinary details — like this crystallised wallaby dropping! ‘Green’ is often overrated, and the new white […]

Early mornings are a good time for wallaby viewing as they move into the yard to catch the sun and start their day. Warming up and washing are essential first steps. This mother and joey are combining the two as the sun rises above my eastern treeline. They looked like they were hugging but as […]

I have finally gotten around to cutting back the verandah’s vines of wisteria and ornamental grape. They have twisted around themselves and each other to form very strong and sculptural outstretching limbs. This year I am experimenting with leaving more of their extremities, their claws, poised to shoot green fingers further than before perhaps. Beyond them, against […]

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