Sun streaks

streaks-1It’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 tree surrounds. This is natural, as they are the tallest, but what I love is the way the sunlight finds narrow reconnaissance paths through the north-eastern forest and shines long streaks of gold on surprising levels.
streaks-2Against the still dark mid-forest, the tops of wattle trees are spotlit as becomes their role as winter garden stage stars.

It’s a brief solo act, as soon the sun ‘rises’ above the treeline and sunlight becomes general, changing greys and blacks to full colour, and hitting my solar panels to start the day’s generation of the magic power by which I am writing this post!

Winter sunrise

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 slippers and raced outside with the camera.
This sunrise was as boldly beautiful as I’ve seen in ages. Zooming the camera closer, the texture and colour of its serried centre reminded me of a slab of our Australian Red Cedar timber at its glorious best.
Within seconds sungold was introduced to the palette and the vibrant orange and vermilion tones were softening a little into prettiness.

Seconds later and the glory was all lost, washed flat by grey daylight. 

Fleshy blooms

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 of my verandah I can see clumps of creamy-beige flowers pushing up old mown grass. They are not something I have planted; I have never seen these in my yard before.
blooms-2When the rain eased I went closer. Not flowers, but extremely over-populated fungi. Cream to pale caramel, delicate yet fleshy all at once, their lightly fringed caps upturn like the faces of flowers. Fighting for space and light, they fold and layer and then triumphantly open — my blooms.





blooms-3 A few days later they are still there, and then I think I see a new colony several metres away, near the leafless birch trees.
These are in two separate spots. The lower one is definitely the same sort as my fleshy beige blooms, but a small cluster right amongst the jonquils seems whiter.
Indeed they are, perhaps because the most recently emerged, but they are also more convoluted and this I think must be because they have had to grow through the jonquil bulbs and around their leaves, tougher than grass.

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.


While south-east Queensland and the New South Wales north coast were hit by wild weather and floods – again – here it was much milder.

Yet when high winds follow long wet spells, the ground is saturated and trees are at risk on these ridges and slopes.
Those with less extensive holds from their roots or weakness at their bases can be bowled over as easily as we would flick a fallen leaf.

When the weather eased, I found that even in my fairly protected yard, part of the lemon ti-tree and two small Mudgee wattles had come down.

Fearing worse damage closer to the top of the ridge, I walked up to my gate, in case of fallen trees across the track.
There were none, but right by that gate a fairly large tree had simply snapped off, probably partly hollowed from past fires, and now lay prostrate. Fortunately it had fallen downhill, so not across the track. 

Soon it would be tree no longer – just timber. But in the meantime, as the leaves slowly die, it will sadden me to pass it by. Like a terminal patient’s silent plea to which I have no solution, only sympathy.

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.