Hardenbergia comptoniana

Now that Cockies Tongues is flowering, Hardenbergia comptoniana follows close behind and paints the winter bushland purple. I got home from camping in Cue to find the Hardenbergia that climbs up my garden fence covered in blooms and bees a-buzzing with nectar drinking.

Hardenbergia comptoniana flowers in my garden

Continue reading

at the lake

If I go to the lake without a camera, I see with more clarity, filing pictures in my mind that I can’t share, but capturing everything with crisp lucidity.

The clear blue expanse above, wrapping my shoulders in the afternoon kiss of winter sun. Endless glassy depths, smooth and tranquil in their watery glory.

The flooded gum reflected in rising waters, encircling a majestic trunk. Seedlings marching toward inundation at the lake’s edge. Girding their roots to withstand the long dry summer, only a memory in these chilled and waterlogged months.

The click and chatter of random frogs, interloping on their diurnal neighbours, waiting for sundown to fully awake a crescendo of song.

A swan’s black arch repeated in reverse of graceful symmetry, gliding smooth and imperceptible. A whistling kite grazing silent loops on a current far from the water’s opaque lacquer.

My brain remembers this idyll by noticing more, a wide vista of serenity.

reflection of flooded gum

These photos were taken another day under cloudy skies, but when the water was as glassy smooth.

Winter Mushrooms

bracket fungi on Kunzea in bush at Karnup

I love it when mushrooms pop up in my garden but now winter’s over there’ll be no more until next year. I like looking through my friend’s copy of The Magical World of Fungi by Patricia Negus [1], to ID fungi I come across. Although it may be the drawing of a fairy sitting on a mushroom on the last page which makes me love this book. A Flickr friend told me about the Perth Fungi Field Book [2] which is free to download, so I had my own ID source. I had lots of fun IDing fungi I found and not so much fun realising how difficult it can be to ID fungi.

Fungi species often appear slightly different in different regions. [2]

edible black morel in my garden

Continue reading

Are we getting rain this winter?

My title came from a search someone did and ended up at my blog. I’m not sure where “we” lives, but if they live in Perth, on 29 July when they did the search I thought Perth’s rain was over for the winter. I was wrong, but we did have 11 days of no rain from 26 July to 5 August. Temperatures hovered around 20°C and it felt like summer had arrived.

In July rain fell on only 16 days, half a month of no rain when July is Perth’s wettest month. I can’t believe I had to water some of my garden!? It was from the rainwater tank so it’s been replaced since then, but one morning I spent too long watering, missed my bus and had to wait half an hour for the next one. Despite so many fine days we still received 149.6mm of rain, only slightly below July’s average rainfall of 152.9mm. In June we received 20mm above the average, so for the two months rainfall was higher than average.

satellite image of cloud cover 15/08/09 09:30 The past week the rain fell in earnest, with high winds to make for real winter weather. At 9:30 yesterday morning there was quite a bit of cloud cover over Perth, the southwest and the wheatbelt, which has been dumping the downpours on us. Today there were lots of sun showers and fine periods. When I was a kid my family called a sun shower a Monkey’s Picnic. I thought this was what everyone called them. It was only a few years ago that I discovered my family are the only people in the universe who call them that, but I still say Monkey’s Picnic whenever it rains when the sun’s shining.

Continue reading

More on rain (not more rain)

satellite image of cloud cover 11/06/09 09:30 Since May’s rain there’s been lots more sunny days, until this week. The satellite image of the cloud cover on Thursday morning showed a large portion of WA covered in thick cloud. This produced a nice downpour of 22.2mm for Perth, with June’s rainfall so far now 43.6mm. As a result we’re no longer having the driest January to June on record [1], but the rain didn’t last. It’s been fine since then and the forecast is for more un-June sunny weather until Thursday, even if the temperature has dropped.

Last winter I blogged about Perth’s water restrictions:

Only in October 2007 were restrictions placed on summer bore use, for irrigating residential gardens, parks, sporting fields and golf courses. Theoretically restrictions shouldn’t be needed in winter months because you’d think people would realise that irrigation isn’t necessary when it’s raining. Sadly, I’ve seen sprinklers in use at Curtin University and gardens near my house, when it was raining.

Continue reading

Winter weather

the pond in summer

I’ve been hibernating from blogging while writing my thesis, but I had to blog about winter’s late arrival. There was a dismal amount of rain in May, 46mm on only 4 days with almost half falling on one day. This is way below the monthly average of 87mm and means in the last five months Perth has had a severe rainfall deficiency (in the lowest 5% of historical totals). To complement this, Monday was the hottest June day on record: 26°C. The cold weather has supposedly arrived now with 6°C last night (even though sunny days are forecast until Wednesday).

Continue reading