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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Slipping into autumn

Some of our friends were surprised when I told them the the autumn colours were beginning to show.

  'Already? Isn't it early?'

  It may seem so, yet I've noticed in many seasons we can see the first signs as early as January that the European trees are going to colour. The sap stops rising and, amazingly, each tree commits a form of suicide by denying itself the essentials for growth, or even preservation.

  Come with us on our walk a week or so ago, pictures taken over just two days. We'll show you the sights, and maybe a few oddities. Tracey did the camerawork - beautifully - seeing things that I often don't, especially as I need my eyes on the path a few metres ahead.

  Maybe we can surprise you with a slideshow.

  You can never be quite sure of what's on the pathway ahead till you get there.

  I'm not sure why trees of the same species change at different times, but I guess it has to do with location and water and nutrient availability.

These pistaceas are in full summer regalia.

The native trees don't change for the winter.

Here's the mix: various gums. I know for sure the one on the left is a stringybark.

Honeysuckle or Crepe Myrtle?

The first signs of autumn start to show....

More yellows against the green.

Sometimes it's nicer that the grass in the laneway isn't cut.

The little golden ashes in the centre start to colour.

Some pistaceas go a bright yellow.

And the mix is on. Some are turning red beside the giant gums....

Some seem keen to put on a salmon-red display.


A brilliant burnt-salmon display against the green ivy.

These are the paths that make it easy for me to walk; very level, with no lurking dangers.

...whereas, this is the opposite. The council paints a warning where the pistacea roots have pushed the concrete up. But I have to be ever watchful.

And now, a few snaps in passing. A letterbox, with its warning for all those who read French about the fearsome guardian animeaux!

A closer look.

Cannas - brilliant colours.

But what's in the dying petals at the top? I see images. A closer look is below.

Is there a pregnant lady, arms drawn back, facing right - towards a dragon? Or is another lady, arms forward, face skyward to the left, with a Tinkerbell dress? Or is that a knight, on the right, on his rearing charger? (I have a vivid imagination, obviously.)

Now something a little different below, but colourful. As Tracey says, not many people have a red letterbox in their garden!

Low maintenance pets!

Just roses, against the wall and the green ivy. Roses are blooming everywhere right now, and the ivy will turn scarlet before long.

The Armoured Personnel Carrier at the barracks just down the road from our place. We're safe!

Just a big beautiful gum. I'm not sure of the type. Blue gum?

The path ahead....


  1. Lovely! And yep, it's definitely a lady looking skywards but she seems to me to be more bum than baby bump :)

    1. It's like those silhouette images where you see things only one way, and then when you see them reversed, that's all you can see. I prefer your interpretation, but it was the other way for me first.

  2. That's quite a trim chap walking ahead there! Lovely photos.The 'honeysuckle' is potato vine, I forget it's proper name. solanum something?? The blue gum might be a snow gum (maybe)I'm wondering if the postman can get in to put the letters in the red mail box..this is a good sort of story as images make one's own imagination work:)
    Julie xx

    1. Trim chap my bum. (Well, that's part of the problem! ☺) More than 2 years of steroids, now a dependency, have eliminated any illusions about your optimism (euphemism....) but thanks for trying to maintain them! It's something my vanity has never let me reconcile with, though heaven knows I should have lost all trace of that by now.

      But to the point - yes, I think you're right about the snowgum. Apart from the yellow and white box, apple-box, red gum and stringybark that I used to cut for firewood here, I have trouble identifying some of the others exactly, coming from the tropical lowlands as I did and not the high country.

      I suspect the postman might have given up on that nice red letter receiver quite a while ago!

  3. That was lovely. Tracey is a better photographer than I will ever be. I think that honeysuckle/crepe myrtle dilemma may also need to add 'jasmine' to its list - oh, I've just seen the comment above. Yes, I agree with Julie, I think it is a jasmine known as potato flower jasmine, but my knowledge of these things is super-weak.

    1. You're being much too modest about your photography and your blog attests to that, but she'll thank you for the compliment. As to the flower, it didn't smell like a jasmine (the ones I know) and though I originally had it there instead of crepe myrtle, I plumped for one or the other. But I'll defer to your collective wisdom. 'Potato vine' sounds too unromantic, but I'll accept 'potato flower jasmine.'

      I think Julie Lake should also add an opinion!


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