Monday, September 8, 2008

The Darling Buds of September

After a horribly cold winter, (We had 5 consecutive frosty mornings! And ice on the birdbath!That never happens here. Well obviously it does now - but it's not supposed to, being on the cusp of a subtropical zone) the weather is finally warming up. I'd take down the blanket over the curtains that was intended to keep in more warmth except that the mornings are geting lighter and until daylight saving starts at the end of October, I don't really want to be waking up at 5am or earlier. I'd noticed about a month ago that the season had changed -there was something a little different to the quality of the air. It took another week to be certain and finally the proof has arrived.

The maples all have new leaves and the sycamore(ish) tree (not really sure what it is) has baby leaves a week earlier than last year. Herbs that I allowed to self seed are pushing their delicate green leaves out of the mulch and my mind is turning toward planting the vegies I want this summer.

It's funny (not really) but over the weekend I heard about the floods in South Wales and here in New South Wales on the mid north coast we had ours on Friday. The bridge over the river that runs through the middle of town went under. There is always a scramble by those living northside, before the Council closes the bridge, to get emergency supplies (candles, batteries, food, toilet paper!!!) - as they only have a small corner store on their side - and they are never quite sure how long they will be flooded in.

Last year, a little earlier than this, we had another flood and so much rain that a landslip occurred between the house above us and our property, partially destroying the retaining walls separating the two. It has taken over a year for the Dept of Community Housing (who are responsible for the other property and for one reason or another legally responsible for the repairs) to start work of demolishing the remaining retaining walls and rebuilding. In fact, for the last fortnight there hasn't been a worker to be seen. The lower wall had been nicely cleared away and they'd dug a trench for the footings and then disappeared leaving a huge pile of clay soil and what amounted to an unsecured 6 foot trench between the upper retaining wall (yet to be demolished) and the walls of our house . Now along comes torrential rain and lots of it. Waterfalls flowing over the bank and washing the clay soil into the lower garden, another section of retaining wall collapsed and water gushed between the the horizontal slabs of the remaining now 6 ft unsecured retaining wall (about 1 and half metres from house). You can understand why I was a little nervous. My poor long suffering husband donned his dri-za-bone and using sleepers from the collapsed wall braced the remaining panels of retaining wall. phew! Having been notified of the damage to their excavations the workers have deemed it unnecessary to turn up today, Monday, to inspect the damage. Mutter, mutter, mutter.

Anyway, today is glorious. Birds everywhere! There are a pair of pardalotes attempting to nest into the nice new soft bank eroded by the rain. I've been trying to discourage them, assuming, perhaps optimistically, that work on the retaining wall will recommence soon. Just the other day not one but two male Regent Bowerbirds with their brilliant yellow and black plumage showed up in the wild tobacco trees (that I've allowed to grow in the garden) with their mates and the King Parrots have been coming in to feast on the pigeon pea flowers. Why would anybody spend time indoors when so much is happening outside? Me, obviously, because I'm writing this but not for long. Here I go. Signing out to go sit on the verandah and bask in the warm sun. Blessings to all.


Yvonne said...

I saw a greater spotted woodpecker in the garden this morning :)

syren said...

How lovely. It's a beautiful bird. The bird I miss the most is the blackbird. It's song brings back the safe feeling of childhood when everything seems perfectly secure and nothing in the world could be horrible.