Weekly Photography Challenge: Spring

This week the Photography Challenge theme is “spring“, which is timely for the northern hemisphere, of course, although Lisa in the Pacific Northwest chose a completely different ‘spring’ for her post! Down here in Southern Australia, meanwhile, autumn is well under way. Because our summers are hot and dry and our winters fairly mild, this is the time of year when everything – especially weeds – spring into new growth, and gardening becomes a hands on occupation.nettle patch

Getting out there pulling up weeds – very carefully, in the case of these nettles – leads to the discovery of remnants of last spring, and the heralds of the next one. I have found two old bird’s nest in the past few days.

The first was the familiar cup shape, and may belong to silver-eyes. It was hidden in a large old rambler rose. The other was close to the ground in a rosemary bush, and has a tiny, almost invisible opening – I’ve highlighted it in one pic – my index finger only just fits. The interior is lined with paperbark, the nearest tree being more than a block away from here. I suspect the nest was built by scrub wrens, which are resident in our garden, although we never see any sign of their nesting activity in spring.p. curta shoots

Then there’s the promise of next spring – this pot of leaf litter contains a little colony of an endemic terrestrial orchid, Pterostylis curta, which is just beginning to send up shoots.P. curta flower

For the record, here’s the P. curta in flower last spring. By the way,I let a few nettles grow, despite the stings, because they are the food plant of the Red Admiral butterfly, and I eat some myself, cooked like spinach. What Popeye would’ve eaten, if he’d known!