Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Loving these flowers

Isn't this delicate, later flowering wattle beautiful?

Now there are so many different wattles in bloom round here, I think I might like a golden garden filled with every possible kind.

Quince and early apple blossom

It's getting hot, too warm for a jumper the last two days. The first of the blowies buzzed inside yesterday.

We're well into Spring, the equinox is coming up in the next day or two. The  quince trees and the early apple are in bloom.

Quince and apples and roses are are closely related. 
I love all three, but I'll have to wait a bit longer for the roses.

One more tree to flower - the grafted apple.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Peach and plum

I found a chopped-up stump by the back fence when we first moved to this house. Thin wands were sprouting up from below a graft line on the murdered tree, so I left it alone to see what would grow back.  These are its fiercely pink, serrated blossoms.
Until it fruited I didn't know what it was. It is, in fact, a peach tree producing quite small, but very sweet and  juicy yellow peaches. It's a tough tree, growing steadily all through the drought.

Not the usual peach blossom, is it?

And this is my adored greengage plum tree, well established when I arrived. 
 In blossom or in leaf it is beautiful and its fruit is a marvellous, gleaming yellowy-green

I can hardly ever bring myself to prune it as I love sitting under the low-sweeping arches of its branches.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Nectarine blossom & hail

Typical frisky spring weather today, rain and sleet and then hail. Beads of ice lay thickly against every corner in the city. I watched the hail piling up outside the library while I hunted about the shelves for books.
I thought the hail would have really knocked our nectarine blossom about, but when we got home (with groceries and  piles of books), there was no sign of storm or ice in our garden. The day was suddenly sunny. So - probably a tree full of nectarines this summer!

Then in the afternoon, with intermittent rain and sun we had a sky full of rainbows.

This week I've been to a free ABC workshop in the library to learn how to put an image and a story up on the ABC website. Next week we'll do a video! I'm loving this.

There are some really good projects going on on ABC Open - love these 'now-and-then pics' of Creswick's Calembeen Park

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Spring poem to chant for Proserpine

What shall she have,
Earth's youngest daughter?
Green combs of willow wands,
Mirrors in the water.

Where shall we go
To do her birthday honour?
Clematis above the rocks
hangs her silken banner.

Heath lights tapers through the bush -
White, and red for morning;
All the tight-balled wattle boughs
Overnight are turning

Each into a golden fleece
Rich as Jason plundered, 
Where across the shining weir
Winter floods had thundered.

Reedy singers call her home,
Little Proserpine,
Cuckoo's flute, dark bittern's drum, 
and wren pipes fine.

Old as moss in glacier lands -
Earth's youngest daughter -
Clean as worship in the hills -
New as lambs and laughter.

Mary Finnan wrote this poem. She  was born near Geelong in Victoria in 1906. She was an artist, teacher, unionist and Red Cross worker. Her poems aren't in print now. I'm going to the State Library soon to look at some of her books.

I've known this poem by heart since I first found it in an anthology of 'bush poets'.

 Proserpine/Persephone's story is a myth that has always resonated for me, as a child and later as a mother. 
 The story of Jason's quest and the plundering of the golden fleece is a good one to tell in goldfields country. 
Outside Geelong is the little town of Ceres where my mother's family lived and farmed in the 19th century. Ceres is Proserpine's mother, of course.

Ballarat Writers Festival

I don't usually go to writers festivals, workshops, symposiums or talks, but yesterday I broke my habit - and I'm so glad that I did.
I spent yesterday from 9 to 5 at the Writers Festival in Ballarat, run by the Ballarat Writers. Lots of my favourite sort of books discussed by the authors, editors and illustrators of fantasy and historical fiction and picture story books. All locally-based Victorian publishing houses and writers. The speakers were generous and in love with their work.
A really rich day.

The festival was held in the Alexandria on Lydiard Street. A beautiful old building with great food and coffee. It was such a warm spring day that we sat out on the balcony for lunch. Bliss!

When I left to go home the lights were coming on but it was still warm and bright. 
Spring is really here.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Plum blossom and wattle blossom

Plum and wattle are in blossom everywhere now. When I walked the dogs this evening the sun was coming and going between the clouds.
Sometimes the sun flashed on the wattle among the plum flowers.

Even when the clouds came back over the sun, plum and wattle glowed together.

The air was full of that particular, creamy wattle scent, subtler than jasmine, that is the smell of early spring.