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Showing posts from 2016


Between Worlds and Home, Sweet (Cool) Home

Season’s Greetings from Melbourne Airport Between Worlds Into the cool green embrace of Tasmania It was 34oC when I left Perth and it's 18oC when I arrive in Tasmania. I'll be complaining about the cold next. The little girls and their Mum arrive two days later.  When they wake up in the morning, there's snow on the mountain.They are positively thrilled. I don't think the youngest, aged five, has ever seen it. They play in it, they taste it and come back red -cheeked and very excited. It could be a white Christmas yet. So little snow - so much excitement Youngest son has decided to delay his departure until after Christmas and the oldest, with his little family, will be arriving tomorrow.  For a few days the house will be crowded with music, laughter and chaos. Strange that. I always thought it was a bit like Brigadoon for my mother -in -law when the whole family descended for a day or two and then scattered again to lead their separate

Goodbye Western Australia

Possibly a type of Casuarina - these are not so much flowers  as excrescences Have no idea what this tree is either but it has little yellow star flowers like a Jasmine   In Western Australia the season of flowering trees continues -not just the Jacarandas, stunning as they are, but also those above, several types of ti -tree and the first of the flowering gums, a spectacular pink one. (Sorry no photo, I was in someone else's car on the way to dinner).The bright red calistemons, usually one of my favourites because they come out at Christmas time and provide a seasonally appropriate splash of colour, came out much earlier this year and during a particularly hot spell, making them go into almost immediate decline before the flower heads had fully developed. Calistemon - usually prolific at this time of year, but few and far between this time Sadly, most of them look like this - dying off before they are fully in bloom Though I wasn't sorry to be le

Rain! ...and the revolt of the Shopping Trolleys

First real rain since early October Whooeee!   It just rained, and a real gutter -spiller it was, complete with thunder and lightning. I don't think we've had a drop of rain since I came back from Broome on the 4 th of October.   All around you can hear the bush and the trees sighing with relief and I feel much the same. Before that it’s been a bit like "Troppo Season" in Darwin just before the rains hit, which is usually accompanied by an excess of violence, pub brawls   and road rage. Then, when the rain does finally break, you feel like going out and dancing in it. That how I felt last night. Kangaroo Mum and baby popped down this morning  for a spot of green grass - note how skinny Mother Kangaroo is It’s been over 37oC for the past few days and everything has been tinder dry. Tempers have been short too. Indeed, the Allied Shop Assistants Union has been thinking of going on strike due to abusive shoppers. So much for Christmas Cheer.   To be

Jacaranda, the Tree of Heaven

The magnificent Jacaranda While most of the colour has drained from the bush and it seems to be a quiet time while it catches its breath, the city streets have erupted in a blaze of purple.   This is because the Jacaranda is in bloom.   I always thought that this was an Australian tree because it is so widespread on most of the east coast, but it turns out that according to Wiki  the Jacaranda is a member of the Begonia family and a native of tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America, although it is now very common in South Africa too. Close -up of the blossom According to Helen Curran, Assistant Curator of the Sydney Museum, in her delightful article "The Dream Tree: jacaranda, Sydney icon"   it has come to us via those intrepid plant hunters of the C19th. with the first specimens arriving in Australia from London. Curran explains how the tree became so ubiquitous despite early difficulties. I especially like the following quote: “The