Monday, 5 December 2011


Gum trees shed bark this time of year. As the bark gradually peels away and drops onto the ground, the smooth trunk changes colour on exposure to the sunlight. I love the way the colours blend, subtle and magical.

You know it's summer when the brain starts to go limp and soggy with sweat by 9 a.m. We lie down and endure the hottest part of the day, like the roos who settle in patches of mottled shade in the open eucalypt forest.

Chores get done in the cool of morning, otherwise, forget it. By midmorning I retreat to the darkest and coolest part of the house. Lately, I sit at the computer there, working on graphics. When it gets too hot for even that, I lie on a mat on the cool concrete floor, turn on a fan and read or nap. I sometimes attempt a little knitting, small projects that don't hang down onto my lap. And sometimes I spin cotton or silk on a supported spindle. But, limp brain syndrome really doesn't want to know about Craft Goals. Limp brain can't be bothered. It only wants to know: When is it going to cool down? When is it going to rain?

During the dry, hot days, a xanthorrhoea bloomed and butterflies appeared.

A hungry grasshopper also showed up.

In Australia, December 1st marks the First Day of Summer. We finally got summer rain, hurrah, accompanied by thunder and lightning. The heady smell of lemon scented gums permeated the damp air this morning and the blossoms of a native orchid opened. Frog eggs float on the surface of billabongs along Moon Creek. The harsh, dry conditions have eased and lifeforms respond, even me.

Cooktown orchid

It's only the start of summer, so we expect more hot days. We remind ourselves that it's ok to slow down (and stay hydrated), during a holiday season, though it goes against the grain of someone born in the Northern Hemisphere. Now, would someone remind me to celebrate Christmas in June next year? That's such a brilliant idea. When it's Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.... that's when my brain feels most sprightly and I have the most energy. Oh, right, the main drawback? I am not the only Centre of the Universe.

post by M in JaM
pix by J in JaM, pix edited by M

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