February (Australia) – another month of what Tracy does best.  Catastrophising.  Still, I’ve included a few nice photos.

After so much stress last month, it was not surprising that I seemed to have more than my fair share of illness.  I started the month with a terrible head cold and I am finishing the month the same way.  Lucky me.  Many of my fellow Canberrans have been similarly affected by the strain.

fly

The bushfires in the surrounding region continued to threaten in early February.  I heard that there was a fire in my suburb but I didn’t believe it.  Then I saw this on a short walk.  Save us from (probable) cigarette butt tossers!

burb fire

Fortunately, the weather cooled down and gave us space to breathe.  My True Love (TL) and I took a short drive to see our favourite honey man, Ken, at Harden-Murrumburrah.

H-M

The drought and the fires have had a devastating impact on the bee-keeping industry in Australia.  The high country which can normally be relied on to provide a steady source of flowering eucalypts for the bees over the summer, was instead severely burnt.  Thankfully Ken kept his bees at ‘home’ on the plains this year.  He has been providing his bees with supplements so they can survive the summer as on the plains west of the Dividing Range, it has been pretty grim.  Ken predicts that it will be at least three years before the mountain eucalypts recover enough to produce blossom.

plains

Ken is not the only one feeding his animals.

truck

Clouds hint at rain.

moody day

The day for my eye surgery finally arrived.  Ouch.
I’m told recovery time will be 4-6 months.

moon

My TL took some photos in the bushland near the hospital while I was in surgery.

young kookaburra

Because I can’t take photos, I’ve got into editing them instead.  It’s fun and fulfills that creative urge.  I’m sure I could do a mosaic like this!

wood duck

Thankfully we eventually got some rain.  Not much, but enough for the mountain fires to be contained.  Further north and to the east, more significant rainfall extinguished fires.  Australians welcomed it, even though it washed ash into lakes and rivers, killing thousands of fish.  It is feared some threatened fish species like the Macquarie Perch will become extinct.  I try not to dwell on the negative but it is difficult.

In my backyard, grass sprang back to life and flowers bloomed.  It felt spring-like, pleasant.  The garden at least was a hive of activity.

bb bee

My TL made a bee hotel for the native bees from a fallen branch.

bee house

I still feel a bit raggedy.  Another head cold doesn’t help.

yellow admiral butterfly

In truth, I would like to be feeling much better before the new corona virus takes hold in this country.  If I can’t keep my germs to myself with just a standard cold (my nose will run or feel cement-like by turns, and I can’t breathe with a mask on), then what hope is there of containing the COVID-19 virus when it arrives?  None.  We’ve seen that.  It worries me.  My little dog needs a special home-made diet … What will happen to my animals if no-one is home to look after them?  Will my pets be shot like all the pet dogs were when the residents of Darwin were evacuated after Cyclone Tracy in 1974?   True story.

I know my worry won’t change anything, but it is hard to be optimistic or half-way prepared when feeling under the weather.

This weekend, I hope to visit my little friend.  I’ll tell you the story of how we became friends another time.  It is a nice story.  Heart-warming.  Next time.  I promise.

friend

This is my response to The Changing Seasons — February 2020 photo challenge, hosted by the lovely Su at Zimmerbitch.  I am also combining this challenge with my Friday Song Day, and what better song for gloomy, old me.

See you next month.  Hopefully.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

81 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons – February 2020

  1. Stay well and rug up Tracy. Plenty of fluids and rest. TL does take a pleasant snap 😀 😀 Maybe kids with matches too. It’s a good idea to get into editing and playing with software, it does give ideas for mosaicing when you are able x

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    1. Thanks Brian. It could have been kids with matches I suppose. Really could have been anything. Unhelpful speculation on my part, but gee, if you lived in that house (retirement complex), it could have given you a heart attack.
      I think my next step will be to go to a reserve this arvo. I don’t think I’ll get rid of this cold until I get out. I’m accumulating mosaic ideas. I’ll get there.

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  2. oh Tracy so much to be dealing with, take care with coughing after eye surgery. Stunning photographs and I would love to see your mosaic of the duck, love your editing. Impact of so long dealing with smoke we had similar last summer after our fires were finally out in the huon valley, people with colds and respiratory issues post so many months under smoke and stress. I feel for you all. I totaly agree with you in regard to tossers of cigarette butts. sigh poor home owner so good it was put out so quickly. try to take some time for you and meditate, if you can. I have been lately and it helpful in stopping me from getting anxious and panicking about what is out of my hands. Not watching the news helps.

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    1. Thank you, Tazzie. I’ve been reading too much news since I’ve been sick. You’re right, I should dial that back.
      Mosaics are normally my meditation. I think I’ll give it a try today. Also a walk in a nature reserve. I’ll be tired but it will be healing.
      Such a long recovery process. The people of Huon valley are no doubt still dealing with the physical and mental trauma of the fires.

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      1. I do hope you have been able to give yourself some respite and self love Tracy. I would love one day to try my hand at mosaics. I watch a you tube channel Beltane cottage and the woman has done amazing mosaic floor and mirror work on her fireplace. I love it. It is a long process, I am sure there are some folk who have been severely impacted down here. We did loose 5 houses and peoples gardens, lots of vegies and plants treasured by owners. I am not sure about stock losses. There were also fires here december 19-jan 2020 in fingal and at least one home lost and property damage. so many folk across Australia impacted. Being physically tired is a good thing and helps with the mental tiredness. you are in my thoughts. Tazzie

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      2. I did, Tazzie. A walk and a small amount of mosaicing was done. I was always feel so much calmer afterwards.
        I do plan to eventually get around to posting on the materials and equipment I use. Youtube is full of videos, so I won’t go into details of process.

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  3. I feel your stress about so much going wrong in the world. It’s taking its toll on you and many others. Coronavirus is a world wide threat and there’s almost nothing in place to contain it much less to end it. TL’s and your photos show how much everything has had to adapt in order to survive, from monster-sized trucks hauling hay to a tiny ragged-winged butterfly to a bird looking pensive and a duck seeming in calm repose against a bubbly background. TL’s bee house is brilliant idea. May you heal well and quickly from your eye surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sharon. The ravages of the virus will be felt for a long time I think, Sharon, both on global health, security, and economies. At least, we can support one another.
      Recovery from the surgery is going well. I’m pleased about my progress, especially over the last couple of days. The damn cold though is awful. You know how it is.
      Thank you for your encouraging comments about the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All my best wishes for a speedy recovery from surgery and colds, and hopefully the fall season will be more relaxed for you and your loved ones. I loved the bee bits and photos; it is heartwarming to learn about humans caring about and protecting them.

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    1. Thank you, Irene. Every day is one day closer to getting better. 🙂 Our chat with Ken, the beekeeper, was pretty interesting. He went into the mountains with his friend to collect his friend’s bees. His photos really showed the horror. Many hives were decimated but some miraculously survived. We always learn something new when we visit the honey shop.

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  5. It is hard to be positive when feeling under the weather. Take the time to rest and care for your self. Let your boys spoil you! There is light in this world, sometimes it is hard to see the shine, but it always comes around. You shone a little today with your beautiful photos, absolutely love the bee hotel!

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  6. Ah, Tracy, I feel in your words the weight of holding so many huge impactful events–no wonder the stress is causing respiratory distress. I too have found much relief by a daily meditation practice. Such lovely photos (thank TL, please! I tend to thank true love for most everything.) And thanks for putting those lyrics into my head. You’ve got a friend in me!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Victoria. Normally I find mosaicing very meditative, if only because it keeps some distance between me and the world news of the day. I’m going to try for an hour a day. It will at least be a start.
      I will pass your compliments on the photos. ❤ We are looking forward to getting out into the surrounding nature spots again.
      I felt immediately better when I played that song. 🙂 It's a good song to have stuck in your head.

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  7. Hang on in there Tracy and give yourself plenty of time to fully recover. Our immune systems are affected by stress and as already suggested, meditation is a wonderful support to healing. I was thinking of you and your dogs when reading the books I reviewed on our blog earlier today. You might enjoy them when you feel like reading some fiction involving Chukchi Dogs, sledges and their life in the Arctic Circle. Your TL’s photographs are stunning and I love the bee hotel. Lots of love and healing thoughts to you from all of us here xxx

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Xenia. I saw that you had a done a review, but was trying not to get distracted until I had finished this post. I will check it out. I need a change from what I have been reading lately.
      My plan is to mosaic for an hour a day. It is my form of meditation. 🙂

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  8. Lovely pictures. February has been momentous for many reasons in Canada. Indigenous rights to land ownership are back in the news as a debate about tar sands extraction roils. When I need a smile I listen to “Stew ball” by Peter, Paul and Mary! Hope you feel better soon Tracy!

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    1. Thank you, Sid. I will have a look at the issues you mentioned later. As far as I’m aware, tar sands oil extraction is bad news. It is so toxic to the local environment. There was a shale oil demonstration project in Australia many, many years ago. It was stopped. Not economical at the time, but also poisoned the local citizens. I did a quick internet search. The justification for it seems to be that other undemocratic countries are doing it, so we should too. That is the whole climate denialist argument in summary. Eek. Does the sun not shine in Alberta?
      “Stew Ball” is a blast from my past. Pretty sure that we sang that song in choir in high school. For about six months in highschool, we had a funky, folkie, choir teacher. Unsurprisingly, she had job offers aplenty.

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  9. So much to think about in your post Tracy. I totally empathise with your cold misery. T brought mine home from Adelaide and it has been more intense and longer-lasting than any cold I’ve had before. And I don’t have recovery from surgery to contend with!
    I hope a bit of fresh air and sunshine help.
    I love the TL’s photos, and your bee hotel. I’ve been worried about our bees, having seen very few this summer. The last few days they seem to have suddenly arrived and are feasting on the garlic chive flowers (funny how no-one promotes garlic honey the way they do manuka?), so I am feeling a little more cheerful.
    I’ve just read that people are panic-buying supplies at supermarkets here after our first case of the virus has been confirmed. So much for my plan to get our normal groceries then ….
    Hope you feel better very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully March will be better for us, Su. Did T have any follow up after the plane virus scare? Planes are such a breeding ground for all sorts of viruses at the best of times.
      Garlic chive honey sounds perfect for colds. You could be on to something. My garlic chives aren’t flowering yet. The return of our bees was very welcome. It is scary to think that bee populations could collapse so rapidly. Interestingly, our native bees were the first to show up.

      I have to stock up on a few things. It is not necessarily panic buying. I’ve got three large men, to feed, although I imagine we won’t be that hungry if we get the virus. We will need enough nutritious fluids to stay hydrated.. I think that will be my main priority if worse comes to worse. It is a shame our hospitals are so chronically under-funded, but let’s not go there …

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      1. There was no follow-up I’m aware of, so I guess the medical emergency was identified as something else.

        My poor son and his girlfriend got up super-early to go shopping yesterday; not because they were panicking, but worried if they left it too late the shelves would be bare. I figured we could do with a few store-cupboard things and did an online order.
        I don’t want to think about our hospitals’ ability to cope with a pandemic either.

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      2. He was lucky I think. T went to the supermarket for a couple of things last night and said some shelves were completely bare, and staff had been working so hard to restock. Once it gets beyond the level of general preparedness we’re all meant to do, it does become crazy. And selfish.

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    1. Thank you, Dries. I made it to our local nature reserve today. I haven’t been there in over three months for various reasons, including park closures. That little bit of rain we has really perked things up. I was exhausted by the time I got home, but the visit cheered me enormously, Dries.

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  10. A hard month Tracy and a cold and eye surgery would not help. Hope you recover quickly. I’ve noticed the price of honey going up, as is most other groceries. I think a lot of extra “panic” buying is now happening. I actually bought 2 packs of face masks, much to jack’s derision. Noticed every shopping trolley had jumbo pack of 12 loo rolls, they were on special too, so I bought one too… Love TL’s photos. March one of my favourite months so hope it lives up to my expectations.

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    1. I’m looking forward to this month as well, Pauline.
      Food is expensive here too, especially vegetables. We have stocked up on honey for the lads. They went looking for masks today. As expected, none.
      5 o’clock here and have just made it out to the mosaic. 1 hour will he enough. I have to be careful not to flick tile into my eye.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I bought 2x1kg pots of honey a while back, they have gone up $2 since then, expect they will go more. When I bought masks they only had 10 packs left and I bought 2…enjoy the mosaicing, but be careful

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  11. I’m sorry to read that you’ve had two bad colds on top of eye surgery. I hope you recover very soon. I’m surprised people are panic buying. This does seem a little necessary to me, but maybe I’m being a bit too relaxed.
    Your TL does take the most marvellous photos and the first one of the iridescent fly is exquisite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane. I’m not surprised about the panic buying. Not much has been said about how people caught out would be re-supplied.
      I think if people knew there was a system in place, then it would put everyone at ease.
      Bottled water was snapped up here when the bushfires were on. Some were donating them to charity drives for the southcoast victims, but a lot were just hoarding. I’ve stocked up a bit. We can last a whole week now before having to go to the supermarket! 🙂
      Glad you like the photos, Jane. Have you got a new camera yourself? Your flower photos were quite spectacular this week.
      PS. Apparently I am to tell everyone that I took some of the photos too, eg. the landscape ones. My TL doesn’t take enough photos when he is the car passenger, so he is relegated to driving. Heehee.

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  12. Ooh! I can definitely see that picture turned into one of your awesome mosaics, Tracy!! And I really hope you’ll feel much better soon – stupid colds! And how are your eyes? May I ask what the surgery was for? Such bad news on the bee front. 😦 Are they specialized only on Eucalyptus or would they try other plants as well? The pics are all wonderful, your TL does a fantastic joy – as do you with the editing now, fun, right? And don’t get me started about Corona – Germany is tightly in a grip of panic even though it’s only about 100 cases – people are buying food and stuff like crazy!

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    1. I’m putting it on the mosaic list, Sarah. 5 year plan. 🙂
      Maybe I’ve got hayfever rather than a cold. I’ll have to experiment. The grass is itching me.
      Eye is improving. Pterygium removal and graft.
      The bees have a diverse diet, but they are moved around as different plants flower to produce specialist honey from particular plant species.
      It is nice to have my own photographer. 🙂 I take photos too, especially ones out the window of the car.
      I think the panic buying is only natural. Lots of people have family members in high risk categories.

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  13. Goodness! Hope you are recovering well from your surgery and from your cold.

    Hope you enjoy the time at home though – that’s always the upside of being kept in: photos gets edited (thank you for sharing the fruits of your labour – my favourite is the kookaburra?: his expression is adorable!) and dreaming up new projects happens.

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    1. Not so much getting better as not getting any worse, Ju-Lyn. Hitting the Vitamin D now. With our terrible summer and then my surgery, I’ve spent a lot of time in dark rooms over the last four months. It can’t be good for me, apart from the photo editing.

      That kookaburra is gorgeous. We first saw it when it was a fledgling. That was on my previous hospital visit in November (no wonder I’m sick!). Got some photos of it then too, but you know, not everything can fit in my Changing Seasons post, lol.

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      1. I’m relieved for you! We need our eyes! As for the virus, the first couple cases in our state were just diagnosed yesterday, so it’s coming. But I do hope the fact that we’re getting outside more and closing ourselves up in small spaces (with coughing people) less will help. I don’t relish the idea of closed school and other measures of containment. Take care of yourself where you are!

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    1. We’ve had lovely steady rain over the last couple of days, Darren. The sun is shining now. It makes everything sparkle.
      My eye is progressing well. I am really pleased with it.
      Wrap a scarf around your neck and mouth and keep your hands in your pockets. It’s worth a try.

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  14. I’m sorry to hear you were feeling poorly last month and I hope you are healing well from your surgery. I do appreciate that you’ve taken the time to share your lovely nature photos–posts like yours show me snippets of nature I don’t see over here in my northern, urban jungle. As for Covid… I’m not sure how the situation is in AU now, but to speak from my experience living through the national emergency… for what it’s worth I have been noticing lately more stories of goodness to balance out the catastrophic news. Yes, there are people stockpiling masks and probably groceries too, but also the news is spotlighting the good samaritans emerging when things get tough. It gives me hope. Sending good wishes your way 🙂

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    1. I am much improved now, thank you. The graft on my eye will take time to heal fully, but everything is going very well. Even the cold has abated somewhat.
      I was more anxious about the Covid virus before it hit Australia, but now I have found a calm in myself. It also helps greatly that I have been able to start back on my artwork. I find being creative is such a stress relief. Do you find that too?
      I do hope we hear some stories of goodness here. I understand the story of two women fighting over toilet paper in the supermarket made news across the world.
      I hope you have a good month in Korea this month and look forward to seeing your creative endeavours.

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