The Changing Seasons – June 2022

June in Canberra (the Australian Capital Territory) – Winter officially begins. It has been the coldest start to winter since 1964. Opening the house to the elements due to household Covid infections made June a particularly cold month. Life on the outside was better even if it was freezing. The sun came out occasionally and reminded us that winter days in Canberra can be glorious. Here are the highlights, largely courtesy of my True Love who took photos before and after his Covid infection. The poor man still seems very unwell to me but he takes beautiful photos nevertheless.

It snowed on the ranges in the period after my TL’s surgery and prior to his Covid infection. It was bleak but we were happy, happy, happy.*


The majesty.*


Then life got more complicated so I snatched a few moments in the garden.
My Eutaxia obovata (egg and bacon plant) that I planted last year clenched its leaves to conserve heat.


The galahs were contemplative.


The sun popped out and so did my TL and Pimelea physodes.* Lucky for us.


The Eastern spinebill chimed its arrival and stopped to freshen up.*


The prodigal Golden Whistler returned.*


The sun called me and I was off. T-shirt weather, baby!
The brittle gums (E. mannifera) up the hill were celebrating too.


The Eucalyptus cinerea were covered in galls. Something should eat those.


By this time (3 hours later), I wished I had packed my jumper.


Finally, one last photo for my neighbour, J, who is home with Covid. You had visitors today. They seemed to be gnawing on your tree rather than eating the seeds.


Anyway, back to the Covid situation. Canberra seems to have the highest rate per 100,000 people than any other Australian state or territory (NY Times tracks this stuff but maybe their data is wrong). Perhaps the number of infections is only now catching up with the rest of the country? On the other hand, there are now 122 people with Covid in our public hospital. That’s 122 people with Covid in a public hospital system that has somewhere between 600 to 670 public hospital beds and a huge number of hospital staff off sick. At the same time, elective surgeries in the public hospital system have been cancelled again. By my rough calculation, 15-20% of our public hospital beds are being occupied by people with Covid, as they should be if those people need hospital care. These stresses on the system do not seem to merit a “business as usual” approach. Furthermore, several patients and staff in the cancer ward have also caught Covid on the ward. I understand that staff, patients and visitors are required to have a RAT test to enter those highly sensitive areas. If our experience with the uselessness of the RATs is anything to go by, then that does seem like a Covid breach waiting to happen. That’s my opinion.

Anyway, anyway, I send my best wishes to my neighbour, J, for a speedy recovery. Ditto, my friend, Martha, in the States. My TL is none too well and he is in his third week post onset of his infection. Who knows what July will bring? Hopefully, cake. And a few sunny days. And good health. Especially good health.

This is my response to The Changing Seasons photo challenge, jointly hosted by Ju-Lyn (Touring My Backyard) and Brian (Bushboys World). Click on the links provided to check out Ju-Lyn and Brian’s challenge and create some memories by joining in.

But enough of me, how was your June? I hope you found a space for things that make you happy and keep you sane.

Take care, everyone. Stay safe, be kind and be you.
Kind Regards.
Tracy.

*Photos preceded by an asterix were taken by my True Love.

Hidden In the Rushes

I am posting this again in memory of my mum’s dog, Ashie.  He died today from a serious illness.  There is only one line and photo in this poem-ish photo-essay that relates to him, but it sums up this beautiful dog so well, at least in my opinion.  Farewell, lovely boy.  You will be missed.

***

When our family ventures out to our beautiful natural areas, we go slowly, for it is only then that nature’s hidden treasures are revealed.  We take out, what we carry in.  We tread lightly and with care.  There may be no houses, but we are nevertheless going into someone else’s home.  This is what we taught our children from a very young age.

Let’s see who is home today – in the rushes.

moorhen2

The little family is well camouflaged.  It is a Dusky Moorhen with her chick.  

moorhenchick

The chick leaves the safety of its nest, but mum is not too far away.

swan2

The black swan and her signets weren’t expecting visitors.

swanb

But all is calm, so peace is soon restored.

Ashy

Come out of there, Ash, and leave those ducks alone.  Ash is a farm dog.  He knows to not hurt the wildlife.

No comments necessary.

First published in 2018

Ode to Ama – A Bush Ballad

I am reprising my poem about my little dog, Ama, for the NaPoWriMo prompt about dogs you have known, seen, or heard about.  It is the best poem I’ve ever written (if I do say so myself) so I can’t offer any better.  The poem is written in the style of bush poetry (ie. it’s long) and there’s a nod to Banjo Patterson’s iconic poem, The Man From Snowy River.  In that poem, “the Man” rides his mountain pony down a steep hill after a herd of brumbies (wild horses).  There is some controversy as to whether that poem was a true story.  Unlike Mr Patterson’s poem, I can vouch that Ode to Ama is completely true.  Enjoy. Read more

Back On The Hustings (NaPoWriMo #4)

Investing in public health saves lives.

Hurts. History repeats.
Overwhelmed (even more) hospital staff. Important details omitted.
Seniors. ie. not. Bedded down in the geriatric ward. Also, still short staffed.
Pan. ie. bed. Plan B. Also, patients. Way too many (not their fault).
Investment. To fix this health care crisis. Also incomplete medical notes.
Toilet. Plan A. Please god, plan A. Also tired, ie. everyone, and stop the tax cuts.
Accidents & Errors. Inevitable when staff exhausted. Investment, not tax cuts.
Love. Not for love or money. Burnout. Get out. Real life “Survivor“.

The entrance to the Emergency section of Canberra Hospital and the complex’s main tower, by Nick D, Creative Commons Attribution: Share Alike 3.0

Aussies, give your vote to the person that shows they care by putting their money where their mouth is. Our health, public health. In Australia, public hospital costs are shared between the national and state/territory governments.

Unfortunately my TL is back in hospital, ladies and gentlemen. I may need to take another blogging break. I’ll let you know or fail to show. How poetic!

Take care, everyone.
Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Charm Offensive

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

It’s an election year here in sunny Australia. Sometime between now and May, we will be lining up at the polls to elect a new national government. Voters don’t choose the Prime Minister. The leader of the winning party normally becomes the PM. Party leaders are elected by sitting government members or other processes determined by the relevant party. Too easy. In the lead up to the election, the current PM has, according to media reports, embarked on a “charm offensive”. Charm is not an attribute I usually associate with the PM. Anyway, he and his fam recently did this big interview with one of the television networks. Anyway, anyway, I’m not sure that the interview achieved the charm objective but we are all talking about him as a result of that interview, so perhaps it was a success?

The most surprising part of the interview was when the PM’s wife, Jenny, took the rap for the PM’s disappearance to Hawaii on a family holiday during the bushfire emergency after Christmas in 2019. I can’t blame her for wanting to get away from Australia at that time because both Canberra and Sydney where they live, were covered in toxic bushfire smoke. Their official residences are old so they were probably full of smoke. Any mother would want to get her kids away from that. I’m not sure Jen should be taking responsibility for the PM’s absence though. Strange decision for the PM to leave the country in the middle of a major emergency affecting half the country.

Anyway, anyway, anyway, I was delighted to see that the PM had taken up the ukelele. Everyone needs an outlet in these stressful times. In his very own Like a Version cover, he strummed a few bars of the old Dragon hit, April Sun in Cuba for us. Strangely he didn’t seem to know any of the words beyond the first line of the chorus. I wonder why he picked that song? Let’s have a look at the words of the first verse:

I’m tired of the city life
Summer’s on the run
People tell me I should stay
But I’ve got to get my fun.

[Songwriters: Paul Hewson / Marc Alexander Hunter / Yaleidys Salazar Fernandez / Dayana Otero Salazar / Mark Richard Edwards]

C’mon, the PM’s taking the piss, isn’t he? The one thing I’ve learnt from my Friday song day is not to offer up a tune until I’ve checked the lyrics.

I look forward to the (soon to be ex?) PM participating in the national uke muster at the National Folk Festival in future. I suspect he may be too busy to attend this April due to family commitments, campaigning and not taking responsibility for anything, except maybe for scaring the hell out of voters or further taking the piss.

Sadly I won’t be attending the Nash this year either. My hearing is going and I need to protect what’s left of it. I guess that comes from attending too many folk festivals. Or maybe it can be attributed to that Dragon concert I went to at the Calamvale pub in the 80s. Gosh, that takes me back. Let’s have a listen to the original version.

I also like that line about snake eyes on the paradise, but I’m easily amused. Despite Jen’s convenient mea culpa on the Hawaii trip, I’ve come to the conclusion that the PM really doesn’t “get it” if he needs his partner to take responsibility for his actions.

Here’s to holding the hose and taking responsibility for your own actions or lack thereof.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Photo by alleksana on Pexels.com

The Big Event

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you. This week I am also joining in with the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Memorable Events.

I think some of the most memorable events in our personal history are those with which we have an emotional attachment, eg. having a baby, seeing your favourite band, winning a contest, producing something you love, etc. Bringing a new piece of art into the world is like giving birth. The arrival of every piece is a memorable event. The Lens Artists Memorable Event theme seemed a perfect time to reveal my latest work but I have a couple of days work left on it. She is going to be beautiful, that is, as beautiful as a piece of climate change protest art can be. Serious stuff. When I reveal it in a few days, I would like to know whether you would like its back story? Or would you rather I let the artwork do the talking? Let me know in the comments below.

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That Will Be The Day

The wild weather keeps coming, doesn’t it? We don’t have to wait to know how incredibly difficult sustaining life, livelihood and shelter will become if we exceed 1.5c degrees of warming.

All over the world, we are already experiencing the results of poor climate policy decisions. It has been a particularly stormy few months in eastern Australia, and it makes me wild. Like the wind. It does not pay to get too attached to your garden or the trees, for Canberra, the bush capital, is being rapidly re-modelled.

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The Changing Seasons – October 2021

Canberra (Australia) – Mid spring and all systems go.

We had the luck of the Ken Behrens this month. Canberra avoided the damaging storms and tornadoes that have hit other parts of eastern Australia. Daily infections of Covid in the city dropped to single digits on the back of the highest vaccination rate in Australia. Non-essential retail businesses have begun to open for in-store shopping bringing joy to Canberra shopaholics. Students began returning to schools and next month, more people will be back in the office. Excitedly, Canberra is ready to welcome back travellers from other parts of Australia and from overseas. It was a good month for plants and animals too, and, of course, I was delighted about the return of daylight savings and warmer temperatures (albeit some days have been freezing). It was all systems go on my mosaic project too.

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Landing It

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

To travel to my home town, the place of my birth, would take a number of days by car. For a family with small children that journey would likely stretch to over a week. When I was a child, the cost of plane fares was also exorbitant, hence our family rarely visited our relatives in Far North Queensland. I remember a special occasion when our family did make the trip by plane. Perhaps it was my first plane trip. It was very exciting.

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