50 shades of Autumn

I know all you northern hemisphere people are coming into Autumn/Fall (call it what you like, the days get shorter and colder…), so I thought I’d have a little gloat and point out that down here, it’s Spring.  Longer, warmer days (OK, in our case, bloody hot days), flowers, things peeking out of the soil in the garden, and the sun beating on the back of your neck as you do the weeding.  So to celebrate our difference, I’m giving you an image of what autumn colour looks like in the cooler parts of Australia.  Damn, I’m going to miss that…

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Up on the New England plateau in northern NSW, we get cool autumns and an amazing range of colours. These leaves were all picked up in my garden.

We’re having an unusually hot and dry spring.  Some fairly old records have been broken.  The farmers are happy because it has mean the sugar content in the cane is high, and they’ve been able to get the crop in without the harvesters getting bogged.  Already many of the harvested fields have been cleared and ploughed, and there are rows of little cane billets happily sprouting away.  They’re going to need some rain soon…  Inland, the fire risk is through the roof, and the cattle country is officially in drought.  They’re doing it tough out there.  For us, it’s meant having to start irrigating the garden and running the air-conditioning much sooner.  Strictly urban hazards.  I count myself lucky.

Nothing new to report from the Gardens of Chiconia, but my two phalaenopsis orchids certainly know it’s spring, and are flowering heavily.  They sit on the windowsill in my study/sewing room (aka the Black Hole of Calcutta for its propensity for swallowing things up, never to be found again). One is white and one is a rudely vivid shade of purple with a speckled heart.  I could probably move them outside, but it might be a bit hot and bright; they like filtered light.

Note to self: I have GOT to start carrying my camera around with me more.  We had a picnic lunch at the beach today, and I spotted a beautiful group of paperbarks twisting and twining around each other.  I may have to go back tomorrow, because I can’t get the image out of my head.

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