Majestic forest giant
Oversees its peers in battles
With flood, fire, drought, axe.
Like a silken white sheet on a king sized bed
The swell at three metres broke and those up to stuff
Rode boards sixty metres in the roaring surf
Just over the sand dune all lay still – instead
A father assessed if his rod carrying children
Were to eat fish he had better head to the chippery
So still was the air in the estuary it was watery
We stood on a jetty and snapped the formation
To remind ourselves winter has these days sanguine
Where all is unchallenged – unlike the links
On the opposite banks where golfers strike
Balls in their wish to defeat Covid 19
Hope is interesting at best me thinks
Ones aim is to defeat the dark ISO feelings like
We are in mid autumn and the passion fruit is flowering as if it was spring time.
As far as I am concerned this it great, but I am prepared to be disappointed as the days get colder as the fruit might not fully ripen. We have two grafted Nellie Kelly variety plants growing over our rainwater tank on a rustic trellis I have constructed.
In spring we has a fabulous display of flowers. Traditionally our spring days are just below twenty degrees and summer average is perhaps twenty three. In the summer just past the passion vine had lots of fruit as summer approached. As this was the second season I was excited at how prolific the crop looked and then we had a day of 40 degrees and the fruit cooked on the vine.
When the temperature was nearing its peak I thought of cooling it down but changed my mind when I thought it might actually make it worse for the plant. It was even hotter on the second day and third day. A heatwave of days in a row of excessively hot days is unusual in early summer. Last year it ensured the crop was lost.
In January we had another couple of very hot days and this plant drank all the water I could give it just to stay alive. The old fruit turned black as it is supposed to when it is ripe. For a day or so it looked lush but when I cut a sample fruit it was hollow inside. Since then I have watched each week as the fruit on the vine shrank into smaller and smaller crumpled black dots among the green leaves. The fruit that grew after those hot days was sparse but now we have a new unseasonal feast growing on the plant.
Nellie Kellie is reminding me not to give up on her. In a week or so I will give her a pre-winter feed of pelletised fertiliser as a reward for perseverance over the dreadful summer and the late flowering she is exciting me with now.
The other fruit that struggled at the beginning of summer was the raspberry. Our spring was chillier than usual. The bees struggled to find a time in the day when they felt comfortable leaving their hive. Consequently many of the plants relying on bees were left un-pollinated. The raspberry was one such plant so we had no early fruit.
In February we had the first regular rainfall for months and the plants have responded beautifully. Throughout March we have had regular picking from our small clump of raspberries. What a treat is is to pick from our garden. When a fruit is picked fresh from the plant the taste is extraordinarily special. The quantity is relatively unimportant as our fruiterer sells excellent produce to top up what we need.
In the days before supermarkets we had specialist shops that sold: fruit, meat, bread, fish and groceries. Each shopkeeper was a specialist in his field. If one wanted apples, mangoes and grapes likely as not you were unable to buy them on the same day. What these specialists did was stock only what was in season. For instance, the summer fruit started with fruit with pips like plumbs and cherries. When they were finished we bought apricots and nectarines. Peaches, pears and apples came into the shops in the following months.
Long before these shops proliferated people grew their own fruit and vegetables in kitchen gardens. At least they did where I grew up. Each of the big estates like Renny Hill had excellent kitchen gardens. It had had a well cultivated garden of about one acre. But by the time I got to haunt the property it had become over- grown. The fruit trees almost made a continuous canopy over the area that once grew patches of potatoes, leeks, lettuce, or whatever.
The orchard included fruit trees once considered exotic. Persimmons, medlars, crab apples and cumquats grew among the vegetables. My favourite was the fig tree. At the time I first knew the garden it must have been sixty or seventy years old. It had wide spreading limbs like the chestnut, and the walnut, but twice a year without fail it produced the most succulent fruit. The tree had so much fruit there was enough on it for the family, their friends, and the possums.
I so loved the sweet fruit I remember picking it straight from the tree as we played under it. As a result I have often planted one in the gardens we have created. My latest little back yard has not got much space but I am training a fig to grow along the fence. Currently the young tree has about half a dozen figs. I know I have too few at present to share them with my neighbours and I have no intention at all to share them with the possums, so I am protecting them, and checking on them every day.
A trip to Clifton Springs is usually just a short dash along the highway. Today though it was hot, and all the Sunday drivers seemed lost, or unwilling to get a move on. All they could do was tootle along – one foot poised over the brake pedal – ready to stop in case road workers were actually at work. Too often, in the rush to finish work on Friday, signs – warning construction is underway – are left in-situ instead of being locked away at the end of the last shift. What happened today was an example of worker laxity. Unnecessarily signs were left out. This is just another reason to avoid the people who timidly drive one day in the week.
Fire warnings today
Sunlit dried silver grass lies flat
No snowflakes in sight
Basho haibun poem. ( saekaeru) Definitely not celebrating a return to icy weather, but what can you write on this topic at the beginning of autumn? A paragraph of prose, finished with a haiku with a hint of the same theme.
Perhaps you will pause and comment. I will thank you.
For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge.
I married a country girl. She was of the land. She knew things about the rural idyll that other girls didn’t. She knew, in the fog of the early morning, the cows welcomed the release they felt in their udders when she milked them. She knew the fruit trees with spring flowers meant there would be bottling jobs to do in the autumn. She also knew that when the grass dried out in the summertime the hay she helped store in the barn would smell sweet in depth of winter.
Her larder was used to store the bounty of the seasons for use where nothing much grew and the days were short. A full larder meant there was no need to starve at all in less plentiful times. And so we married.
Into our home marched the habits of a lifetime. To be even more correct, as she was only young, she bought with her the wisdom handed down to her by her generations who had learned the benefits of prudent living through bitter experiences. If life couldn’t be predicted, it was wise to, at least, prepare for contingencies unknown.
Thus, instead of the clock announcing it was dinner time, and the necessity for food to placed on the table becoming a scramble, her well established routine meant dinner appeared on time. At our place there was no need to rush to the supermarket it was all at hand. Our panty has always groaned with the ingredients of a gourmet’s kitchen.
Country living had prepared this woman to plan. So there was never any need to rush to a shop at the last minute because the odds were, if you did the shop would be closed when you most needed it to be open.
For over fifty-five years it has been that way. Before something is consumed the need for its replacement is recorded on a list, and the list is set aside ready for our next visit to the shops. In the early days of wedlock we shopped fortnightly. We we settled in suburbia the need was perhaps not necessary but we shopped weekly. We still do.
Our world is currently in turmoil because of the unknown direction it will take as countries around the globe prepare for the threatened pandemic of coronavirus. Already many countries have closed their borders to foreigners. There are obvious signs of xenophobia especially towards Chinese people. (As far as I can see, in these early days before a vaccine is formulated, the virus does not choose to infect one nationality before another.)
The resultant caution is upsetting global markets. This country is predicting -along with an unprecedented run of bushfires- there will be a reduction in business output. In turn this means it must – at some stage – be met with other reductions.
I have read our oil supplies – supposed to be equivalent to three months – would only be enough for nineteen days. This is less time than Mrs W sets aside for staples like flour at our place. At a pinch, if the need arose, she would be able to supplement other cereal powders instead of wheat for even a much longer period.
Countries, like this one, that rely on things like petroleum they no longer refine – need to spend a little time in the company of country girls if they are to weather unconsidered emergencies unscathed.
2040 the book and the film – review.
Today I share this review as a response to my last entry.
When your interest is piqued like mine you will want to learn more.
ABC Australia has had reviews of this work on two of its radio programmes
These are the references
These three references say it all better than I am able. We have but this planet and together we can love it back to health. Let’s do it.
It starts with a like to this article and it ends when balance is restored to our human home. Thank you.
It is a beautiful summer day. Those who can are holidaying near the sea. The waves break gently on the shore, and children play in the shallows. In the hinterland smoke fills the air and the ground is on fire. This is the landscape of my country. As the decade ends we have had five temperature breaking days this month.
Some say this is climate change. Others point to former records set in 1896. At that time hundreds of people died in the extreme heat. Then no one talked of global warming and that is one reason given for their skepticism today. The climate always changes.
The weather bureau agrees many parts of the country did record extraordinary temperatures but this early summer is hotter. They argue the gauges were not uniform until recently. In times past thermometers were measured where they sat. Some might well have been read in direct sunlight and those would indeed be wrong. Why, in the late 1950s we had a week of days over 37 degrees. Or so the daily papers recorded. It was hot but it was hot when we expected it to be hot. This year it is hot earlier than expected.
The fact is wherever you live- the climate in your corner of the globe is not as you expect. It is drier. It is hotter, it is colder. Colder? Yes colder., and it is wetter. Extremes of weather is what we have been told to expect for thirty years. Storms will be fiercer. Droughts will be longer. In a world changing because of human living patterns.
This seems to agree with what I learned in my course in sustainability and am reading in the press. No corner of the globe seem immune. Sea ice has melted in the Arctic. In Antartica great slabs of permanent ice have broken free of the continent. Permafrost is melting and ruining road works in North America. Floods have caused havoc across the globe. Venice is used to a high water event once a year. Now it is happening more frequently. Just as frequently sea erosion is washing away once stable shorelines.
It is creatures that seem to be the worst effected at this point. Animals are becoming extinct before their life patterns are reasonably understood. You might care to add to the list of common creatures that seem to be paying the price of much needed human intervention. I can think of bees, frogs, birds, that seem to be threatened with destruction. The thing is miniature creatures seem to suffer without causing alarm at first. It is only when crops are not germinating as they should we sit up and notice.
We do notice. We notice when food costs soar. We notice when the dishes we like need ingredients in short supply. We notice when whole nations cannot grow their basic foods and the die in terrible famines, or the flee their homelands as refugees. We notice but we do not fight for anything until it is at our door.
What can we do? Most of us prefer to do nothing. Some of us are concerned enough to chain themselves, in protest, to immovable objects. Some understand and they try to change government policies. Recently 190 nations met in Madrid to discuss the subject but like Paris and Kyoto nothing was decided.
In the past countries did act promptly to fix the ozone over the Antartica. http://theconversation.com/the-ozone-hole-is-both-an-environmental-success-story-and-an-enduring-global-threat-100524
The countries worked quickly to reset the refrigeration hydrocarbon gasses that caused the rapid damage. This time in almost every country there a self interest groups of fossil fuel influence holding back the needs of their constituents. You are one. Where do you sit? My reason for writing is a self interest one. I want my grandchild to understand I do not agree with the policies of my government that put the interests of today’s big business before the lives of populations yet to be born. I will go further. I think it is irresponsible not to act on the best scientific advice available to this generation.
I read and I reread what I have written and every time I post. I miss the most obvious errors for this I apologise.
The illustration is from The Guardian
Thank you again for reading my post.
The theme of these photos from across the globe is common. Why? Am I alone in being alarmed?
These photographs are images collected today. Will they be worse tomorrow.
Please make comments of your own before leaving. Thanks