Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I Think it's Spring

Well actually it really is Spring here in Australia. It's been Spring for nearly eight days. It just hasn't seemed much like it until today. But today - today was glorious. Blue skies, sunny, warm (well to be truthful warmish). What more could you ask.

There is one thing I could ask for now I think about it. I could be headed north where the wildflowers are in bloom. It's a long time since I've done that and this is a particularly spectacular year in a State where the wildflowers are always stunningly beautiful. The problem is, of course, that when for the first time in years Pisces is not working, he is recuperating from an operation and in no condition to go anywhere. Wouldn't you just know it!

When Sagittarius was two, heading inland to the Goldfields and just beyond Southern Cross we came across a vast patchwork of everlastings in full bloom - pink, white and yellow, hectare after hectare. Sagittarius raced headlong into the flowers, all but disappearing. All we could see was the top of a little blond head as he ran in circles. That's where I want to be now - there or somewhere south of Geraldton - just drinking in the glory of it.

The thing about the wildflower season in Western Australia is that as you drive along the highways and byways even in the hills just out of the city the verges are a mass of flowers. Rich blue leschenaultia so bright it almost hurts your eyes, scarlet kennedia, golden buttercups, hazy mauve-pink myrtle bushes, tangles of purple hardenbergia, enamel blue star of Bethlehem, sculptural red and green kangaroo paws and those are just some of the stand outs. If you get out to look a little closer you'll find the shyer folk - the orchids (spider orchids, pink ladies, donkey and cowslip orchids), pea flowered egg and bacon with delicate whites, pinks, soft blues, yellows and mauves. There's not so many now in the city but the nature reserves and national parks still offer rewards for those who wander in them.

It brings back memories of when I was a child and my family was one of the earliest to move into what was then outer suburban Scarborough. It was almost semi rural in fact, its main claim to fame the holiday flats and houses that dotted parts of the beach front of Scarborough Beach, one of the best surf beaches near Perth. There were still farms around us and periodically the cows from the local dairy farm would wander up the street chomping any tasty shoots from the garden. They were especially fond of new rose growth as I recall.

More important though was that directly opposite was bush, wild and beautiful. We were lucky enough to grow up in safer times and Mum would pack my brother and me lunch and give us a drink and we would go and picnic and wander among the orchids and other delights. Picking was forbidden but in truth we had no desire to. They were so plentiful it was like walking in an amazing garden. Sadly all that area is now covered in housing, the farms are long gone and Scarborough is just another beach side suburb - although it is still one of the best surf beaches.

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