Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Recent Rain

We woke to the sound of heavy rain on our roof this morning, a storm rolling through just after four o'clock. I was happy lying there and listening to the sound of more water falling free from the sky. We've had some really decent rainfall lately, many days on end of wet weather. After a very dry Winter and a scorching start to Spring, our water tanks are full again and the garden deeply watered. There's nothing like rain for the garden!

I love to see nature's response to soaking rain, both in our garden and in the wider surrounds of our neighbourhood. The soil here now is moist down to a decent depth, the grass lush and green. The little creek, that runs through our suburban pocket, is flowing again. Plants have responded with new growth and fungi have emerged. The greens of the forest seem brighter too. Everything feels refreshed!

 In our garden:

 The mint is growing vigorously again.

 The lemongrass I planted has long & strappy leaves.

 A new sweet potato vine has started growing.

 The yellow Clivia lily is in bloom. 💚

The fragrant Gardenias are covered in buds and flowers.

 A single and perfect Gardenia flower.

In our neighbourhood:

The little creek is flowing again.

These lilies, that grow by the creek, are flowering. 

Different fungi are popping up on the ground and on logs.

Late on Saturday afternoon, after a whole day of steady rain, the wide and beautiful arc of a rainbow formed in the sky. A second  "double" arc could be seen just above it but it was so very faint.  We all stood out in our rather squelchy backyard in awe at the spectrum of colours in the sky. We all agreed it was quite special!

A late afternoon rainbow. 
Can you see the ever-so-faint double just above it?

How's the weather been at your place?


Saturday, 21 October 2017

A White Jacaranda

Trees are the reason I love our particular little pocket of suburbia so much. The tall eucalypts of the state forest along the ridge and beyond, the paperbarks along the little creek, the native trees in so many of the gardens and the flowering of the Jacarandas in Spring. For me, it's the trees here that are the backdrop of my everyday world.

At the moment, when I look out beyond our verandah, I can see the beautiful purple highlights of the Jacaranda trees in bloom. This purple blossoming is synonymous with Spring in my city but, on a recent and rather hilly walk, I discovered a different Jacaranda, in a street not far from home...

Clusters of beautiful white Jacaranda flowers.

Instead of a blooming halo of purple blossoms, this young Jacaranda was covered in hundreds of pure white flowers. Oh, my! Looking up through its branches, to the sunny sky above, the white of its flowers set against the perfect blue Spring-sky background, was just gorgeous!

White blossoms and a blue sky. Sigh!

I could've laid down, right there on that footpath, for hours and happily looked up at those flowers and the wispy clouds drifting by. Instead, I've been back to visit it several times now, just to stand underneath it and look up!

Spring flowers adorn young branches.

Sometimes, the world offers up that which is so simple yet is so very beautiful. 


p.s.  A Little History...

The very first Jacaranda grown in Australia was planted in my city's Botanic Gardens back in 1864. It was a purple flowering variety and it grew & bloomed until it was knocked down in a cyclone in 1980. It is thought that it is this particular Jacaranda that features in the very popular painting, Under the Jacaranda, by the artist Godfrey Rivers. The painting hangs in the Queensland Art Gallery. I am thinking of taking a trip in to the gallery to see it. I wonder if there will be any Jacaranda flowers sprinkled on the floor underneath it when I visit?

Friday, 20 October 2017

A Garden Visitor 11

The beautifully-coloured Pale-headed Rosella is a bird we don't often see in our garden here. The occasional sighting would have us all rushing to the nearest window or doorway in hopes of observing the occasional one who dropped by. This year though, beginning during the very dry months of Winter, we have seen more of these pretty parrots (and many other birds) than ever before. They have been coming in to feast on the grevillea flowers, particularly the tall, red-flowering variety just outside our bedroom doors.

I have been trying for days to capture a decent photo but they are very flighty, taking off at the slightest sound or inkling of another presence. These are the clearest  photos of them in our grevillea that I managed to snap:

 Pretty black flecks, beautiful blue and a pale head.
Brighter colours on a more sunshiny day.

 Can you see the little patch of red feathers just under its tail?

Next week, from the 23rd to the 29th October, our family will be joining in with the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.   We'll be tallying up the number of different birds we see in our garden and sending in the totals to Birdlife Australia, the bird conservation organisation behind the count. Our numbers, put together with numbers recorded in lots of other backyards around Australia, helps to provide information about birds that live where we live and the health of their populations. 

In our backyard we are sure there will be kookaburras, butcherbirds, magpies, currowongs, crows, cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets to count. I think there might be a few Pale-headed Rosellas as well this year.

If you love watching the birds in your garden, and you live in Australia, perhaps you might like to join in with the Aussie Backyard Bird Count too.