Crickets have sung most evenings in our front and back yards during Summer and now in early Autumn. They especially love water being sprayed around, either when we water the garden or when it rains and this brings on the chirping. They are elusive little things and are rarely seen. On really hot nights an occasional juvenile cricket will make its way through the gap under our outside wire mesh outer door. They are vulnerable, very soft insects and we know they are young because of the brown colouring. We never see a black adult.
soft banksia cones
rainbow lorikeet crisps
ready for snacking
We have a local indigenous Banksia tree growing by our front gate. Currently it is flowering and a variety of birds, Noisy Miners, Wattle Birds and Rainbow Lorikeets are daily visitors. The Lorikeets are big in numbers and very noisy so when they arrive anyone else feeding tends to disappear. This is my contribution to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 349 CRISP and Soft. Visit this site to see how other poets respond to Ronovan’s challenge.
Maggie loves to go crazy in off lead dog parks and play with any dogs that are up to the risks involved. She is the Afghan pictured in every photo. The other dogs are various participants at different times of the year. From the top the season is Winter, Spring, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Autumn. No one has ever been injured by Maggie and she in return remains accident free. Can you spot the head of the third dog in the second last image? I apologise that not all are well framed however the action is so fast one just snaps away.
calls for summer change
slip that coat
Warmer days and dog play times meant something new for Maggie’s wardrobe. During our Melbourne Covid lockdown grooming services for dogs were closed along with almost everything else. As Maggie makes home grooming inpossible for Jill and I, ( we did try but could do very little) her coat became thicker and matted. This in turn meant she heated up when let loose in dog parks. Her groomers, (who always claim she is a little angel) had prepared for Maggie’s coat and indicated she would need clipping before they even saw her.
Having slipped out of her 2 kilo coat Maggie can again dance gracefully with her canine mates in the park.
A recent peaceful sunset at Ricketts Point. Maggie loves this beach as have all our other Afghan Hounds over the last 40 plus years. Maggie seems to look, reflect and even lose herself in imaginations when she is down here. There is also the prospect of finding a dead fish, or a piece of sponge. We always have to watch where her mouth is on the beach.
This solitary Eastern Spinebill, ( a honeyeater) visits our garden annually, arriving in late Autumn and departing back to the mountains in early Spring. He seeks out the indigenous plants flowering in our back yard, Grevillias, and Correas Thirty years ago whole families of these beautiful birds could be seen across our city, but climate change and bird species adaption change now means seeing one is fortunate.
Last Saturday morning Maggie and I were taking our regular early morning power walk . As we began to cross the Scout Hall park we were confronted by fire trucks everywhere. My first reaction was the scouts had let a campfire loose then as we neared the hall and the Primary School appeared it was suddenly obvious. The scene was frenetic, firemen were still playing water through windows and a huge gantry ladder hovered in the air metres above the roof line spewing water down through a smoking, gaping hole in the roof. eople were gathered in small groups along the opposite street and police were preventing pedestrians from continuing down past the school as smoke was still drifting heavily from the buildings.
My first reactions were disbelief, then one of hoping this was accidental in cause. Upon arriving home I shared the experience with Jill and later that day we went back with a camera and these photos were taken. There was a calmness in the air, however the scout hall had become a community focus point , many teachers, parents and students were there and it was obvious much grieving had happened and still was occurring. We could walk around the street perimeter and see the extent of the damage.
This immediate fire experience brought home the reality of what fire does to communities and even though no lives were lost or people injured and One building was damaged the flow on effects became obvious from local news and social media sources. 500 students, their teachers and support staff, all their surviving resources, materials, furniture etc would be relocated in two nearby government schools, further inpacting on those school communities. A multi million dollar rebuild will commence soon and the effects multiply onwards . Thousands of people woke up on saturday morning much the same as from the day before however by Monday their regular lifestyles were in turmoil, but organised turmoil generally speaking. This one local fire suddenly made us realise the immense effects to our nation from the vast bushfires experienced across South east and West Australia recently and some are still burning.
Those of you who have mentioned our recent FIRES or responded to my earlier comments may be interested in these 2 YOUTUBE links. The first https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdGqTQkRVwE is a no holds barred documentary that takes the viewer into the horror of the fires and the immediate impact on people, animals and vegetation. The second https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrDkdcOkUkI is a public forum that runs every Monday night on National public television. It shares the effects thes fires had on communities and what Government must do. This is again graphic and heart wrenching. Each is about 45 minutes (no ads) and some of the best TV viewing you will ever experience. Please let me know if you watch one or both.
And if your contempt for Rupert Murdoch’s press and its Climate Change denial propaganda is as strong as most Australians watch this 10 minute youtube about how they still peddle this garbage even with these fires and their links to Climate Change .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s23q9DkCaVY
Postscript. 6 teenagers handed themselves in to local Police in regard to the school fire.
Every Summer for the 35 years we have lived in the Melbourne suburb of Sandringham, the call of Male Greengrocer Cicadas as been one of the most memorable sounds of the season. These beautiful gentle insects emerge from the ground under trees after incubating for 7 years. They climb into the foliage, fly from branch to branch, eat , call and reproduce. Every warm evening the males begin to vibrate their hind legs and emit ear splitting calls as loud as motor mowers, as they seek out the females. They only live a few days, the females burying their eggs in the ground at the base of the trees they have lived in. Without fail from the first week of December Cicadas calling would happen on every warm evening, sometines the sounds would continue for hours into the night. This year we have had plenty of warm evenings. After 5 weeks of Summer we have heard THREE Cicada calls. Every other year 3 calls would happen within 5 minutes of any warm evening. What has happened? I will investigate , however my guess is one more casuality of climate Change on the insect world. Pity we cannot see the disappearance of useless politicians like this absence of our Cicadas.
My last contact with Cicadas this year happened 6 nights ago. We heard our third call then silence. A short time later there was a thump at the back door. I went out to investigate and this Cicada was sitting on the veranda. I picked it up and it nestled in my hand. I carried it through the house and gently placed it on a fern in the front yard. later I checked and it had gone. We have not heard another call. I would not be as gentle if I met one of our Federal Government politicians.
A beautiful peaceful sunset over Sandringham harbour, (Sandringham in Melbourne Australia, not the royal one). We had some strong winds towards the end of winter and its possible this boat didn’t hold on hard enough. It will be a costly exercise to re float it.Notice the masts of a few million dollars worth of yachts sitting inside the protected mooring area in the background,