Dear Readers, can you believe that it is already March? So here I am, commencing my second year of The Changing Seasons challenge. I’m feeling battered this month, like an incumbent government that is falling in the polls even though the economy is performing well. Don’t the punters know that they have never had it so good? I suppose that is because we don’t live in an economy; we live in a society, and there has been a fair bit of societal ugliness going round. So yep, although I want to crawl under a rock or hide in my own little “Canberra bubble” (sorry. in joke), March was mostly good for me.
So, let’s get started.
March 1 marked the official start of Autumn in Australia. In southeastern Australia, it is often still blazing hot during March, but not this year. The mornings have turned unusually cold for this time of year, while maximum daytime temperatures have hovered around the mid 20s. Perfect. But dry, dry, dry. Many deciduous trees are almost bare, dropping their leaves early to reduce their need for moisture. My vegetable garden, which was galloping along, has come to a screeching halt. The pumpkin yield will be down this year. Sadly my Wee Jasper Spiderflower (an endangered species) has succumbed, perhaps from lack of moisture, but more likely from overzealous pruning. It is a winter flowering plant and never failed to attract a range of honeyeaters during the quiet season. Shit happens.
On the upside, Ama is enjoying a return to better health and with that, some outings. Readers who have been following this blog for a while, may remember that my little Finnish Spitz was diagnosed with copper storage disease last year. The treatment has side effects (nausea and killing off her white blood cells). We are now able to titrate down her dosage and she seems perkier, even playing with her pack mates. Here she is at a country market with a new fan.
Ama’s recovery has provided comfort. As have my birds. Here are a few regulars.
Birds with crests.
And little birds with zest.
The silvereyes and eastern spinebills share their joy.
And further excitement. A family of blue wrens! They rarely visit. Wrens and bird dogs don’t mix. We call the wrens “boing-boing” birds. Here is Mr Bluewren in his fancy summer finery. He boings from line to lawn, hunting for insects. When we saw him a few days later, his colour had already begun to fade. A sign of winter to come.
The fig tree has fruited prolifically. Every bird and his dog has feasted on its bounty. The female Saunders case moth (that sticky thing below) likes the fig tree too. Sci-Fi fans should look up the case moth. It is truly alien.
Insects, as well as birds, are now fodder for the camera. Their beautiful colours and patterns are enough to inspire any fashion designer. The native blue-banded bee is elegant in its stripes and plush coat.
My partner was taken with a shield beetle (below) and fascinated with its mitey passengers. The shield beetles were taken with my tomatoes. Hmmm. Shield beetles are a tasty treat for predatory wasps. However, we saw few wasps over summer. Therein lies a problem.
All good things must come to an end (especially if one is too busy photographing shield beetles rather than squashing them).
Still, there will be an extra pop of colour in my garden this winter. Not my usual standard. It took four days to complete. This compares to the months that my other mosaics normally take. As much as I love my more complicated pieces, they can be a bit of a grind. I enjoyed making this piece. The lesson learned? Simple calms the mind.
So that was March. It had its moments. The Changing Seasons challenge is hosted by Su at Zimmerbitch. It’s fun. I’m sure she would love you to join in.
Note to Readers:
Dear Readers, I will be posting on matters close to my heart shortly. It is difficult to compose, but I’ll get there. Bear with me.
I may also have a few more insects to show you and some native orchids, but first things first.