Tree light

tree-light-1As 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 pink and red in between, yet it still holds some green at its heart. The ambient daylight is so low my camera admonishes me to use the flash, but I trust my tree light.

This tree was burnt to a dead stick in the 2002 bushfire but it shot back from the roots and grew strongly to be the tall beauty it now is, seven years later.

I wonder if, forged in the intensity of that fire, it was given new genes, genes that hold the memory of the colours of fire, to warm my heart with the sight.

Autumn shoes

After a windy week, the leaves are fast disappearing from the wisteria and the ornamental grape vines draping my verandah edges.

One evening the decking was covered in leaves, the next morning it was swept almost clean by stronger winds.

Except for what had been deposited in my rubber outdoor shoes. Not a common sight, shoes full of old leaves, and it made me feel as if I had been away for a long time, and even that similar things would happen when I died. Things get abandoned, nature takes over.

I suppose Autumn itself leads to such thoughts.

Autumn decor

When the wisteria leaves begin to turn their beautiful clear yellow, they suddenly justify my colour choice of bright yellow for the painted wooden chairs on the verandah.

It’s what I see through the window in front of my desk, so I’m very aware of the transition.
My verandah is as big as my small cabin, and its ‘decor’ and colour co-ordination is very dependent on the natural exterior world for which it is the transition zone.

I just love it when they work together like this and give me such new visual pleasure for even a brief time.

Autumn again

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I began this blog, but the leaves were definitely turning and falling in those first photos.

I was reminded of this the other day when I saw a crimson rosella clearly visible amongst the thinning vine cover on the verandah in front of me, where before they’d been peeping out from a densely green and then red leafy curtain.

The querulous poses it was adopting were as clear as its presence: ‘So where’s the tucker??’

Leafy treasure

leafy window
This small horizontal stained glass window was made years ago by a friend, Nigel, who was attending hobby classes. He proved very capable in the craft itself but not so on the design side.

I offered to do his designs if he made me a window to replace a cracked one on my western wall. I wanted to reduce the summer sun entry but still see out, hence the clear central oval.

This year, for the first time, the ornamental grape vine on my verandah had spread so vigorously along the side wall that it shaded my own viney window.

Now its autumn pinks and reds and latent greens are complementing and enhancing the leafy stained glass design in a double-take of twining colours and shapes. Unplanned and perfect.

Golden gifts

autumn wisteria

As Autumn nears its end, my verandah view is no longer filtered through the pink and burgundy curtain of the ornamental grape vine leaves, for they have all fallen, leaving long lost woody stems that reproach me as I pass, waving bony arms and begging to be pruned.

Now I look through to the darker native forest via a tracery of gold and butter yellow, from the wisteria. Grown from a cutting, this wisteria has never flowered, but I don’t care, for I love its summer gift of shading green and its autumn golden glory.

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I ought to be planting trees…


It’s a glorious autumn on the Mountain. The Woman ought to be out there planting trees but is spending too much time indoors right now, doing interviews, preparing talks, because her book is out!


The Woman on the Mountain is now in any bookshop worthy of the name. Published by Exisle Publishing, (ISBN 978 090 898 8709) and distributed by Pan Macmillan, it’s a candid meander through my life up here alone on my remote mountain wildlife refuge – answering the oft-asked question, ‘Why do you live way out there?’

The horses and the quolls and the wallabies have as large a role in the book as I do, although the defiant machines on which I depend for my self-sufficient lifestyle take up quite a few pages too.

There’s always something new and unexpected happening here in the busy natural world in which I dwell, so this site can be my ongoing notebook.

Catch what the critters got up to lately or my most recent saga of mechanical ineptitude.