Summer winds

— In bloom on the dune —

Coast daisy-bushes are flowering now,
but they’re hard to capture in this summer’s wild winds.

Olearia axillaris (coastal daisy bush)
Olearia axillaris (coastal daisy bush)

Easier in a vase, though.

Antipodean daffodils

Other people’s words

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced;
but they out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth, 1804.

Wordsworth’s poem always makes me think of these groundsel flowers:

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They appear on the dune in late winter —

— like Antipodean daffodils.

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The life of a tree

Other people’s words – Part VI

She was inclined to take it personally about the trees, wondering aloud that they did not know enough to be green, the way a tree should be, but a washed-out silvery grey so they always looked half dead. Nor were they a proper shape, oak shape or elm shape, but were tortured formless things, holding out sprays of leaves on the ends of bare spindly branches that gave no more protection from the sun than shifting veils of shadow. Instead of dropping their leaves they cast off their bark so it dangled among the branches like dirty rags.

From ‘The Secret River’
by Kate Grenville

I thought of this quote about Australian trees as I looked at my garden today:

I love my grey, ‘tortured’ trees.


Sunday soundtrack


Frogs croaking.

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Kookaburras laughing.

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Wattlebirds chuckling.

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Cormorants calling.

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That’s what I heard as I walked in the wetlands last Sunday.


My kind of pine tree

I love drooping sheoaks.

They’re like Australia’s native pines. Sometimes they turn golden:

And sometimes, after the rain, they shine.

Here’s a link if you want to know more about drooping sheoaks: