I’ve never been a particularly outdoorsy person, and as a result have never been particularly in touch with the passing of the seasons. Indeed, I have always thought that Australia doesn’t really have clearly definable seasons. How wrong I was!
Over the last couple of years, I have been walking around the block every day as a strategy for beating that mid-afternoon slump. At first I thought walking around the same block every day might get boring after a while. Instead, I started noticing how much there really is to see in my neighbours’ delightful gardens.
Something is always in bloom, and the visual feast changes week to week. The hot pink camellias that dominated through winter give way to magnolias in the spring. The first few magnolias grow on the topmost branches, lifting themselves to the sun, but the rest soon follow. Within weeks, every magnolia tree in the neighbourhood looks as if a huge flock of pale pink birds has momentarily descended on its bare branches.
Now that we are into summer, we have the deep reds of dahlias, like the ones pictured above. (A sneaky pic of a neighbour’s garden taken around this time last year.)
Nowadays, when I go for my daily walk, I make a project of it. How many details can I spot? What has changed since last season, since last week, since yesterday? It’s amazing how much you can see when you’re really looking.