Winter

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 […]

Brown is not a favourite colour for me; I never wear it. I don’t even particularly like chocolate. My dad — and many others — was fond of a paint called Mission Brown. He also grew beans for market, of a variety called Brown Beauty, which I was allowed to help plant when I was […]

A chilly early morning at Goulburn River Stone Cottages, the moon still high in the sky and the three peacocks still perched in their night-time tree. They are ridiculous birds for flying or perching, one would think, with their disproportionately long tails and heavy bodies.  There are three show-off males here, two ‘peacock blue’ and […]

It is winter, but the deciduous trees and vines don’t all drop their leaves at once. It’s a nicely timed taking of turns to blaze out their seasonal farewells. This beauty is the very last leaf on the whole Glory Vine. On a misty morning, its bright pink is almost shocking. I want a lipstick […]

Now that the rain’s stopped, my yard is a sheltered sunspot for the wallaby population, which seems to have exploded. I guess they give the kikuyu grass more attention now that it’s winter and there’s not a lot happening elsewhere, growthwise. This morning they seemed as ‘herded’ and as focused on the task as a […]

It was just on dusk when I reached Mallacoota, 23 km east of the highway. A stunningly beautiful spot, and quite a large village, but, as I discovered when I drove to the inlet foreshore, its population must explode in summer. What I thought was just a pleasantly green and tree-edged park proved to be […]

At Devonport, waiting to board the night boat, Tasmania farewelled me with rain, as it had greeted me a fortnight before, then withdrew its forces to the now familiar lowering dark clouds over its mountains — and turned on a perfect double rainbow. Day or night, Tasmania, your wild skies have won me. In the […]

It’s a late winter dawn, too cold and too early to get up really, but, since I’m awake and I have a million things to do — I toss back the covers and start the day. By the time the kettle has boiled, the first stripes of sunlight are fingering the tops of my gum […]

This being August, it’s still winter. Yet there’s plenty of flowers: the wattle is out, the jonquils are in full bloom and the first daffodil has opened to the spring-like warmth of the sun. Unfortunately it’s woken up the snakes too, as I have seen my first black snake — sunning itself on very short […]

In winter my morning policy is not to arise until the sun is in my house, but I was forced to do otherwise when this was the first sight of the day. Knowing how quickly such skies change and fade, I leapt up, threw on a thick dressing gown, stepped into my oversize fake ugg-boot […]

There are few flowering plants in bloom now. The wattle is almost ready but as yet is grey-green with just a promise of gold. Most of the bulbs have shot through the grass but only one or two isolated jonquils have opened their scent to the light and air. And yet from the damp edges […]

As Autumn becomes Winter, under perpetual grey skies, the intermittent thin drizzle keeps the saturated ground weeping down the hillside. In all the dimmed-down garden and bushland, one light shines each day to greet and cheer me with its brightness.   My Liquid Amber tree is incandescent with warm colour, from yellow to purple and every […]

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