The changing season and spring rambles

It is amazing how quickly things change here in Canberra.   Only a few weeks ago I was delighting in the green of the countryside and the wonderful winter light.   Even last week everything around here was still green. How I love that green and the light shafting through the clouds to light it up like emeralds.   Now the hot weather and the drying north-west winds from the hot interior are with us and almost overnight the countryside has turned brown, well, no, not really brown, but more golden, shining in the light.   Despite the heat and the burning sun, there is a beauty about the seared land.   The sky is deep blue and the mountains to the west of Canberra become a hazy, lazy blue without any detail.  Against these two blues is the shining golden-ochre of the waving, tall grasses.  It is extremely beautiful.  With the heat comes the crackling, dry eucalyptus scent of the bush, distinctly different from its winter scent.   We can only hope that this beauty does not erupt into terrible fires for the milder weather of winter and early spring has promoted a huge growth in the vegetation, now rapidly turning into a tinder box.

Gudgenby area , ACT, near Canberra  - Mts Namadgi & Burbage

Gudgenby area , ACT, near Canberra – Mts Namadgi & Burbage

Murrumbidgee Valley , Canberra

Murrumbidgee Valley , Canberra

From the Green to the Gold

blue and gold

blue and gold

Golden grasses, formless mountains

Golden grasses, formless mountains

The Blue and Gold of summer ,  Canberra

Murrumbidgee Valley and Tidbinbilla Range from Cooleman Ridge, Canberra

golden grasses of summerDuring the spring I have enjoyed many delightful hours rambling through the bush on Black Mountain and Mt Taylor,  as I do most springs.   Canberra may not have the spectacular backdrop of some cities such as Cape Town or Rio, but even so it is one of the loveliest and most liveable cities of the world.  Black Mountain is all but in the city, while Mt Taylor is not far away from it and surrounded by suburbs, yet except for the few fire trails one can wander off-track and be anywhere deep in the bush.  Even on the trails one does not see many people.

Black Mountain calls me because I love wandering through the bush looking for orchids to photograph, of which we have over 80 species in the A.C.T.  It is extremely lovely to wander through the bush in the early mornings when the dew is still on the vegetation, the air is clear and crisp, the sunlight is slanting through the trees and the birds are calling.

A sparkling spring morning on Black Mountain, Canberra

A sparkling spring morning on Black Mountain, Canberra

I notice the progression of various species of orchids according to the progression of the season, their height and position on Black Mountain.   At the same time, I notice the incredible variety of  other wildflowers.  Unconsciously I am absorbing the peace and beauty of the bush.

The orchids are all ground orchids, and mostly are very small.   I never cease to marvel at their delicate beauty and fragility, while growing in the harshest of environments.

On Mt Taylor I see more flowers because it is more open, there is more grassland, and so I tend to photograph more wildflowers there.

I have learned to love the Australian bush and find great beauty in it, despite its harshness and aridity.  Always there are the sounds and the scents, the play of the strong white light, unique to inland Australia, on the trees and understorywhich glows and sparkles like no other, and the insects and beauty of wildflowers.   When one has walked in the Australian wilderness as I have, one realises how unique it is and how it must be protected whatever else we have to give up.  And so with “wildness” everywhere.

Orchid, Stegostyla sp., Black Mtn

Orchid, Stegostyla sp., Black Mtn

Orchid, Stegostyla sp.,   Black Mtn

Orchid, Stegostyla sp., Black Mtn

Orchid, Stegostyla sp.,  Black Mtn

Orchid, Stegostyla sp., Black Mtn

Orchid, Petalochilus carneus, Pink fingers, Black Mtn.

Orchid, Petalochilus carneus, Pink fingers, Black Mtn.

  

Orchid, Glossodia major, Wax Lip Orchid, Black Mtn.

Orchid, Glossodia major, Wax Lip Orchid, Black Mtn.

Orchid Thelymitra juncifolia, Large-spotted Sun Orchid Black Mountain

Orchid Thelymitra juncifolia, Large-spotted Sun Orchid Black Mountain

orchid Pterostylus nutans, Nodding greenhood Black Mountain

orchid Pterostylus nutans, Nodding greenhood Black Mountain

orchid Glossodia major,  Wax Lip Orchid Black Mt

orchid Glossodia major, Wax Lip Orchid Black Mt

Orchid Petalochilus fuscatus, Dusky Fingers, Black Mtn,  (800x574)

Orchid Petalochilus fuscatus, Dusky Fingers, Black Mtn

Orchid Petalochilus carneus, Pink Fingers, Black Mtn,  (800x786)

Orchid Petalochilus carneus, Pink Fingers, Black Mtn

Orchid Petalochilus carneus, Pink Figers,  Black Mt  (800x566)

Orchid Petalochilus carneus, Pink Figers, Black Mt

Orchid Cyrtostylis sp. Gnat orchid  (800x600)

Orchid Cyrtostylis sp. Gnat orchid

Orchid Arachnorchis atrovespa Thin clubbed mantis orchid   (800x622)

Orchid Arachnorchis atrovespa Thin clubbed mantis orchid

 

 

 

Common Grass Blue Butterfly on a diuris sp orchid, Black Mtn

Common Grass Blue Butterfly on a diuris sp orchid, Black Mtn

Hover Fly Melangyna sp Black Mountain

Hover Fly Melangyna sp Black Mountain

Orchid Stegostyla sp and Hover Fly Melangina sp,  Black Mtn

Orchid Stegostyla sp and Hover Fly Melangina sp, Black Mtn

orchid Diuris Nigromontana Black Mountain Leopard Orchid and Hover fly

orchid Diuris Nigromontana Black Mountain Leopard Orchid and Hover fly

 

TINY FLY ON EVERLASTING ON MT TAYLOR

TINY FLY ON EVERLASTING ON MT TAYLOR

Cabbage White Butterfly,  Pieris rapae,  on Trigger Plant Stylidium sp

Cabbage White Butterfly, Pieris rapae, on Trigger Plant Stylidium sp

Linaria pelliseriana, Pelliser's toadflax, Mt taylor

Linaria pelliseriana, Pelliser’s toadflax, Mt taylor

 

Linaria pelliseriana, Pelliser's toadflax, Mt taylor

 

Linum marginale Native Flax Mt Taylor

Linum marginale Native Flax Mt Taylor

Arthropodium fimbriatum , Chocolate Lily, Mt taylor

Arthropodium fimbriatum , Chocolate Lily, Mt taylor

Thysanotus tuberosis, Common Fringe Lily,  Mt Taylor

Thysanotus tuberosis, Common Fringe Lily, Mt Taylor

Goodenia hederacea subsp hederacea  mt taylor

Goodenia hederacea subsp hederacea mt taylor

Thysanotus pattersonii, Twining Fringe Lily, Black Mtn

Thysanotus pattersonii, Twining Fringe Lily, Black Mtn

Drosera sp. , Sundew, Mt Taylor

Drosera sp. , Sundew, Mt Taylor

Daviesia mimosoides Bitter Pea Mt Taylor

Daviesia mimosoides Bitter Pea Mt Taylor

Daviesia mimosoides Bitter Pea Mt Taylor

Daviesia mimosoides Bitter Pea Mt Taylor

When colour goes home into the eyes
And lights that shine are shut again
With dancing girls and sweet bird’s cries
Behind the gateways of the brain
And that no-place which gave them birth
Shall close
The Rainbow and the Rose

Still may Time hold some golden space
Where I’ll unpack that scented store
Of song and flower and sky and face….
Rupert Brook

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s