Weekly Photography Challenge: Awakening

The awakening theme is inspired by spring’s arrival in the Northern hemisphere. Down here in  Southwestern Victoria, autumn is arriving on the tail of a long dry summer.

We had some actual appreciable rain yesterday, but even before that, bulbs have been awakening and pushing up from parched, bare soil.

This little patch of Sternbergia lutea has had no watering at all, yet there have been frail-looking golden cups appearing for weeks.lily

The Vallota speciosa lives in a pot and gets regular watering – it hasn’t often flowered for me, but I think I might have it in the right spot now. I hope so, anyway!Red-Necked Wallaby

After the welcome bit of rain on the weekend, grasses have awakened and turned green, to the relief of hungry grazers like this Red-Necked Wallaby in our driveway this morning. I’m hoping that once the grass gets growing, the wallabies will lose interest in my garden. They are browsers as well as grazers, with a taste for exotic plants like rose bushes and strawberry leaves…and the leaves of the spring bulbs that have started to shoot in their autumn awakening.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Growth

We are just into the new year, which seems a good time to focus on growth.

Growing things is the whole point of gardening. Growing things to eat is great, but I also love flowers for their own sake.

As for the cactus garden (more of a wilderness at present…), which my eldest son planted as an 11 year old 30 or so years ago, rain at the right time plus lack of management means that the cacti have grown upwards and outwards, obliterating the central pathway that is supposed to allow access for weeding…Since Simon assures me that there are bound to be tiger snakes in there, I think it can wait until winter!



Weekly Photography Challenge:Temporary

Every photograph captures a fleeting moment, but some subjects are more temporary than others.

Flowers that put on a brief show are often celebrated (Cherry blossom time, for instance). The brevity of this floral show, however, is something to be thankful for – it’s spectacular to see, and the aroma is sensational, but not in a good way. The common name of “Dead Horse Lily” says it all!

I was trying to capture an image of the pollinators (assorted flies) but only managed to get one, as they are experts at being temporarily in one spot! I didn’t breathe much…

To provide a little balance to the spectacular and stinky lily, here is a rose – it will be lucky to last a day, as our weather has suddenly warmed up and things are wilting. Weather is temporary, too, so “this too shall pass”, and then we might get some rain, followed by more roses.


Weekly Photography Challenge: Surprise

Life is full of surprises, especially for forgetful gardeners. It’s autumn down under, and nerines are appearing out of nowhere – or at least, out of bare ground. The red one was given to me as white, and took years to decide to flower at last in this unexpected colour. Surprise! I’m fairly sure the bud is a pink one, but I’d forgotten where I planted it…

The fragile little bells of Leucojum autumnale were a lovely surprise, because there were no flowers last year, and I thought it was lost forever.IMG_1359small

My favourite colour is pink’n’orange, so it’s a nice surprise to find a geranium that colour. A photo never seems to quite do it justice, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.IMG_1361small



Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction Of A List

I guess I’m late with this, but it appealed to me, and reminded me that a list is a good way to make a poem.
I’ve been meaning to post some more poetry, so here are some poems based on listsshell and coral

Inside The Shell

Messy tangled complicated mysterious
Strange unfathomable weird unpleasant
Dark ambivalent secret solitary
Peaceful tired loving empathetic
Guided lost confused sufficient
“I am sufficient as I am”

Expanding imploding dreaming wide awake
Enlightened Buddha nature sage
Poet artist writer friend
Sharp forgiving gentle clear-sighted
Humorous  ironic surreal
Sad dispirited ebullient free
“I am sufficient as I am”.red

Pleasure Song

You can get endorphin with a kiss
Or an embrace;
By going ape bananas spacko
With some wild and joyous music;
By eating red hot chillies,
Or, for some people, chocolate;
By lying in the grass
And watching leaves and nothing else;
By running for the sake of running;
By singing yourself hoarse where no one can hear;
By anything that pleases you
You’ll get a little surge of chemical,
And that is bliss.
But which came first?
The pleasure or the surge?sparaxis

Garden Song

There are buds on the lilies
I planted for you;
Red poppies abundant;
White roses in bloom;
Some love-in-a-mist
Are as blue as your eyes,
Some others are white
As the face of the moon;
Pansies for thoughts
Are vying for space
With lamb’s ears and yarrow,
Sweet Alice and pinks;
The lemon balm’s rampant –
It’s almost a weed;
There are great clumps of honesty,
All going to seed;
And the garden is lovely –
O my aching back!afternoon


The afternoon is quiet,
With the near buzz of  a blowfly,
The distant buzz of a motorbike,
The unpleasant calling of ravens,
The house creaking and settling
With the coming and going of sunshine;
Somewhere outside a wren is scolding,
Somewhere inside a mouse creeps about its business;
The clocks mutter away the passing minutes;
Suddenly a shrike thrush begins to call.
Isn’t it time somebody made some noise?dusk

Night Watch

I sat silent
And watched the darkness gather
And the moths came
And then the mosquitoes
And the sky darkened
And I heard an owl
Bird of wisdom and death
And the sky darkened
And bats came hunting
And distant dogs barked
And a multitude of frogs
Called in the dusk
And the sky darkened
And the rain came
And the wind roared
in the trees
And I sat silent
And listened to the night come.

I think I have listed five poems that are lists… more fun, I think than shopping lists, or laundry lists, although arguably not as useful.
And two of the poems are about listening, so there you go!
Ultimate satisfaction.