seasons

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 […]

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Plants from cuttings and broken-off bits, of unknown future flowerings, all find a home with me. This beauty came from a community fundraiser where bits from very old plants in the Wingham courthouse garden were propagated for sale. What a bold and beautiful and very contemporary blooming it turned out to be harbouring! My cousin […]

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 […]

I am sorry to see the last of the Glory Vine’s red leaves preparing to drop and join the colourful drifts along the verandah edges. But the little maple trees are taking up the Autumn baton from them. At my last home, the Liquid Ambers were the light sources of dull winter days, but here […]

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 […]

The ornamental grapevine leaves are now red, so the little green tree snake who visited it in its summer green is no longer camouflaged. The best it can do is mimic stems. Here it looks as if it has green frog fingers as well. Although its head is teeny, thumbnail size, as you can see, […]

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 […]

It being Spring, the Willy Wagtail mum has been busily readying last year’s nest for the 2016 brood. The nest had looked perfectly serviceable, as it was as neat and symmetrical as she had originally made it. However she seemed driven to add another layer, which brings it alarmingly close to the verandah roof. While […]

Now that Spring is showing itself and the weeds amongst my ‘lawn’ are seeding, clouds of teeny grass finches are harvesting them. The ones now visiting are gorgeous little birds — Red-browed Finches, native to Eastern Australia’s coastal edge, or at least east of the Dividing Range. They have a red rump, pink legs, a […]

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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