Monday, 23 August 2010


Suzanna from mostly threads mentioned that over her way the light is slanting differently with the end of summer.

This was the light through my window this morning. The light is changing here too. My narcissi glow.

Two of my favourite Latin words are lumen, light, and limen, threshold. That's what this day is - it is a liminal day, on the cusp of change, luminous with the coming spring. 

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Just a tingle of pink

Yesterday it was a bright, cold winter's day. Quite definitely winter. Geraniums are winter flowers to me - I love that sharp red on grey days. Geraniums come inside in their clay pots and white china saucers (Yes I'm obsessive about this!) when the weather turns too cold for the dogs to spend their days outside.

Jonquils are also a winter pleasure. They smell so rich in the cold air.

But this morning I picked the first twigs of spring  blossom.

And outside tonight there was a pink tingle in the air, just a tinge of spring.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Dreaming quilt

My friend with the galahs has a rich and marvellous garden , full of food even at the tail end of winter.

 Chillis of different kinds

A tree full of juicy mandarins

And harvest stores.

We ate some of the pumpkins and I wish I had taken a photo of her pantry. There were shelves and shelves of jams and pickles and relishes and chutneys and sauces and many kinds of dried beans.

But I particularly want to share this quilt.

This quilt is a remaking of an older, worn out quilt and is covered with soft cottons from loved clothes or Op shop finds.

I loved its warmth, its softness and gentle colours. A quilt to dream under.

And I did.

Quilts should be made to dream in.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Galahs this time

It has been rather an avian week. I have spent a day with a friend in Melbourne who is caring for two galahs which have been too injured to ever be returned to a wild life.

These two roam house and garden (under supervision in case of cats or eagles) and were  constantly on the move, checking things out and commenting on them. They could be found anywhere - pouncing on toes from under a chair, raiding the compost bin, opening the cupboard doors, even in the woodbox of the stove. I think they are charmingly exhausting, but their carer wouldn't be without them.

I'm not good at catching moving objects and these birds move fast!

I was bowled over by the beauty of his feathers and his unquenchable cockiness.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A blow-in

We had quite a storm a few days ago. When I took the dogs out that night to feed them, the wind was tumbling everything around the yard. Over the wind I heard a bird squawking. Then the labrador and I both saw what seemed to be a white cocky stumbling around against the gusts of wind.
In the dark it was hard to see whether it was injured, but I got it safely inside, not helped by two fascinated dogs, and had a good look.
It was a long-beaked corella, looking healthy, but with one wing very clumsily clipped, so it was effectively crippled. I hate this.

I set it up in our little toilet with the requisites, and after an understandably paranoid day, it settled in enough to eat, drink, rip up it's gum tree branch and scuttle round my feet when I changed it's water etc.

Luckily for me, a friend with experience and permits for wild birds has taken it to a bushland aviary until a home can be found for it. No one is advertising its loss which makes me think it was taken illegally from the wild.
These birds are highly intelligent and highly social, they live in groups and have a complex language and social structure. They are very curious and willing to experiment and play, so they make fascinating pets, but how can a solitary life with humans substitute for living in a flock of fellow birds?
They are so quick, clever and alive to everything around them, they need their complex natural life. They should not be toys.

Yin was happy when the toilet was empty, clean and quiet. (Corellas are noisy). I was grateful for a little time with a very interesting and charming creature.
There are no pictures because I was being as unobtrusive as possible while we had this bird, trying  to stress it as little as possible.

Our toilet has now housed an egret with fouled wings, rescued from the lakeside, a kitten, a ring tail possum, a friend's puppy (giving the older dogs much needed respite time during a stay over), and a corella.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Rain glyphs

I am thinking about patterns to quilt my rainy coloured quilt.
Maybe I'll use these glyphs the rain made today.

New neighbours

The frogs have been singing along all day in the swampy bit of park across the road. I can still hear them in between the low grumbling of thunder.

All the gutters have been full for days

Wild ducks have flown in for the duckling season.

and are trying out some suburban puddles.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Wintering over

This year has suited the violets and they have bloomed from the first autumn rains right through the winter. Their scent is always in the garden.

The herbs in pots have wintered over in a sheltered and sunny spot by the house. While all the herbs in the garden beds are mostly dry, with hints of new growth underneath, these are almost bursting from their pots. I have thyme, sage, parsley, mint, marjoram and chives growing well despite the chilly weather.

I planted hyacinths after reading several novels written by English women in the thirties, forties and fifties. All very different writers, but I began to notice the presence of hyacinths somewhere in each book. These are looking hopeful, aren't they?

Sweet scented jonquils are flowering in a couple of large terracotta pots.

and the grapefruit, the last of the winter fruit, are slowly ripening.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Beautifully wet

I was so happy on Sunday to walk around Lake Wendouree and watch the swans feeding and nesting.

The dogs are too old for long, cold, wet winter walks but I'm not.

Water is filling up Lake Wendouree again, a mix of natural rainfall, stormwater and top-ups from other water systems. While I don't think this is the best use of our scarce water, my feelings are quite different. I am full of joy to see water gleaming in the lake again.

The sun came and went between showers of rain. I just walked on, drinking it all in. As the rain came and went, so the light changed.

It was a bit chilly but I had a little thermos of hot tea in my jacket pocket to keep me warm.

 Mist and rain over the town.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Flowers and foxes

A full day. I went for a walk and some Op shopping around Ballarat East. I love the way the streets of old brick houses go up and down.

I found a glass necklace just right for the season. The necklace reminds me of the early wattle that's about to flower here.

I made some more fox prints - a mix of lino printing and paper cutting.

They are a little rough as I'm using up some tatty bits of beautiful paper, left-over from some booklets I made last year.

A storm came over and I watched the tulips blaze red against the darkening world.

I love these wintery months.