Yesterday it rained all day on the mountain, cold and lashing and miserable-making. 23mm. worth of it. From my desk window the autumn leaves of the verandah vines were dull shadows of themselves without their sunny backlighting.
Then a flash of rich red refocused the scene. A crimson rosella had landed on the birdfeeder there and was skulking amongst the dripping leaves, pecking at sodden seeds and keeping a watchful eye out for a currawong or magpie.
She flew off when a strong gust sent a cane chair flat on its face and skittering along the boards. When the rain stopped, she — or a cousin — was back, less startlingly exotic now as the vine reclaimed a little colour, though still missing the sun.
These ‘rosies’ are my main — red and blue and black, with green on the young. My flying jewels, my singing stars.
The vines are wisteria, now turning butter yellow; ornamental grape, almost bare of its pinks and reds; and Chilean jasmine (Mandevilla laxa) which is not a jasmine, is not invasive, and has the most beautifully perfumed bunches of slenderly furled white trumpet flowers in summer.
They produce the elegant long seed pods, joined in twin arcs, that you see by the rosella in the photos. Leave a comment if you’d like some seeds from it!