I love Sydney in the spring time. The days are growing longer. The skies are turning bluer. The sandstone walls and buildings appear yellow as if viewed through cellophane.
The jasmine burst out along the fence this morning, pink and white and olive green. Soon the bees will come and a variety of birds, including wrens and honeyeaters, who frolic through it as if running along a maze. The flowers are as white as my Grandmother’s French lace tablecloths which she washed in milk to ensure their purity. I imagine the wedding of a Fairy Queen carrying the tiny white cups as her bouquet, drinking honeysuckle wine from them afterwards in a celebration of love.
The waterlilies open their bubblegum pink fingertips and wave at passersby. The ducks swim by, nonchalant, as if used to such glorious sights. If I were a princess forced to kiss lots of frogs before landing my prince, I would hang out here. I think the frogs would be of a higher calibre.
Jolly Jack comes back to Blackwattle Bay. His Captain is an ancient mariner who traverses the east coast of Australia in spring and summer climes. He is full of songs about buxom wenches and a cavalcade of tall tales including the one when a sea monster catapaulted out of the Tasman Sea and ate his parrot, Reginald. Or when he was in the Cape York Peninsula (way up north) and Indonesian pirates stole his sails and he had to row back to the mainland. I think the Captain of the Jolly Jack fancies himself as a pirate.
The willie wagtails prance and dance, ready for anything, tails swaying like fans held by flamenco dancers. They fly so close to the ground the grass swishes and splays out behind them. They tease dogs and torment cats with their swiftness. They are the Kings of the park. And they know it.
The pelicans swim right up to the shore. Gulping crabs and whiting. Water spills from their beaks as they munch. Their throats bulge with their catch. Grand and majestic, they remain aloof. I think they are saying:’Bet you wish you were me.’
Then I see her. The gift. Fluttering in the sunlight, completely unaware of her significance. She is a fancy lady, elegant in her Parisian chic wings. She settles and glides from plant to plant, reluctant to strike a pose. She is not prone to singing her own praises. So I sing them for her, smiling up at the sky. With all this joie de vivre, all this beauty, it might as well be spring.
Image of Willie Wagtail courtesy of Steve Walker.
Oh, how wonderful it is when Spring arrives. Here on the other side of the planet we are heading into fall (Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons).
What a wonderful reminder of all the delicious diversity on this little planet we all share, and thank you for the photos of new things for me to see, like the lovely jasmine and lively willie wagtail :^)
Happy Spring, Selma!
Your spring to my fall eh?
Lovely to see every thing come to life.
Love the bit about high calibre frogs. 🙂
Are these your photos as well? (Except for the Willie Wagtail?)
I want to see a willie wagtail! The seasons are changing, and even though I’ve enjoyed summer, I’m looking forward to fall.
Wonderful post, Selma.
The willie is wonderful! I wish we had them here!
My! I’m using alot of exclamation marks today!
Maybe it’s because I got swooped! by a bat! And my adreneline is still pumping!
Perhaps I should go out and find me a high calibre frog…
Its beautiful here, and it smells so good too, you can really smell the seasons!
Lovely photos Selma, I might have a wander with Stan see if I can meet the pirate!
Stunning photograph of the butterfly. Her wings look like stained-glass windows with the lead-work. I also love the idea of high-calibre frogs. We have some frogs in each of our grass gardens and it took me ages to work out what the sound was I was hearing in bed at night. It’s not a croak these have; more like a soft whistling sound.
SAGACIOUS WOMAN – you would love the willie wagtails. They are the most gorgeous little guys. The park near us has entire families of them. Nick and I are thinking of taking the video camera down and filming them because they are so lively they are hard to capture in a photograph. If we get a good enough video we’ll post it on here. They really are adorable.
NAT – I did take the other photos. The one of the butterfly is an entire fluke. I was using a friend’s very hi-tech camera and he set up the shot for me, so I suppose technically it was his shot rather than mine. However, I did press the button so that’s got to count for something. LOL.
KAREN – I love Fall too. I actually wish they would call it Fall here instead of Autumn. The change of seasons are nice because they always remind me that no matter what, Nature will try to steer the same course and things will change as they must. The willies are too cute, aren’t they?
GROOVY – swooped by a bat, you say? Yikes! Not fun. Yeah, I really think those higher calibre frogs are the way to go…..LOL.
KATE – he’s a salty character with an eye for the ladies. He’ll spin you a yarn to make you fall under his spell. Beware!!!!!
DAOINE – they do look like stained glass windows. What a lovely way to describe them. Or some of those dresses they used to wear in the roaring 20s. The intricate patterns on them were amazing.
I have heard those whistling frogs too. I wonder what sort they are? I might need to go on a reconaissance mission to find out.
I love spring. But, I love your description even more.
Unfortunately the summer is coming to an end where I live which means shorter days and cooler weather is coming.
I am gong to sooo envy you in a month or so. Spring hopes, eternal!
Ahhh,Spring in Sydney, the Jacarandas bloom, the frogs croak, the cockatoos and flying foxes flock in their thousands and the magpies
You know what would make this post REALLY COOL? Moving pictures and a voice over from you,reading what you’ve written.
It is Spring…
Oh I love spring too, wonderful descriptions of the birds here.
I love autumn too, which is where we’re heading over here….
I like seeing butterflies … they usually mean at least a couple of sunny days ahead. And, the first ones of Spring are a sign to check if my shorts still fit.
I get a lot of butterflies in my garden, to the envy of one neighbour, who wondered why he got very few in his.
(Maybe if he planted a few shrubs, and didn’t nuke the caterpillars with pesticide as soon as they appeared?)
Your pics are fantastic!
As we head into another Autumn (my fav season) in Canada it’s interesting to ponder spring in your part of the world. Enjoy! 🙂
What a beautiful feel good post, in words and images. Oh, and I want to meet that mariner 🙂
I’m with M.R. on this one. The fall where I live means the winter is coming, which doesn’t happen to be my favorite season. Try living like Nanuk of the North sometime. It gets real old real fast. Other than that, I have to admit that I’ve just now noticed what an excellent photographer you are. I’m a little slow over here, Selma.
MELEAH – but you will get those beautiful crisp Autumn days and maybe snow in winter. I know it’s cold but I remember your lovely photos from last year of the snow-filled streets. They were like Christmas cards.
TR – lovely to hear from you. Does this mean you’re back from Beijing? And when it’s 40 degrees C here, I’ll envy you your tranquil coolness.
DAVID – I’d forgotten about the jacarandas. We have one in our garden. It is the loveliest shade of lilac. Nothing like a bit of Dylan Thomas in the spring time (thanks for the link) but me, doing a voiceover? I’d need to practise for ages first. Don’t know if my tone is mellifluous enough!
CRAFTY GREEN – spring and autumn are my faves too. They have a lot of vibrancy, don’t they?
TRAVELRAT – I love butterflies in the garden. They are such cheerful little creatures. How lovely that they come to visit you.
GERALDINE – Autumn must be magnificent in Canada with all the trees you have there. Hope you get the chance to take lots of shots and share them with us.
ANTHONY – that mariner is a true character. He has many a tale to tell!
RICHARD – you are very kind to say that but I am not much of a photographer, really. I’m an aim and shoot kind of gal. However, I would love to get a better camera and do some kind of course. There are so many lovely images out there to capture. I know all about Nanuk. My sister lived in Alaska for ten years. She always used to invite me over for Christmas when it was -40 but surprisingly I declined. I’ve only ever seen Alaska in the summertime. It is absolutely gorgeous!
How beautiful!! Thank you for sharing the signs of spring from south of the equator. 🙂
Lovely post. It makes me jealous that you heading into spring, and I autumn. The butterfly looks like the Monarch butterflies we have here.
That’s a gorgeous picture of a butterfly. Well, it now feels like fall here in our neck of the woods. The heat is gone gone gone!
Spring and autumn are my very favourite seasons. I always love your magical and lyrical descriptions. It makes me want to go outside and just breathe in the wonder of it all.
JASON – my pleasure. I have enjoyed many of your lovely photos too.
LINDA – I think it is a Monarch, although I am not good at the names of butterflies. I really should read up on that!
CHRIS – things change quickly, don’t they? But I do so love Fall. The colours are enough to send me into raptures!
GYPSY – me too. You should do that. Then you should tell us what you saw. You may not realise it, but you are actually prone to lyricism yourself!
The frogs are of a higher calibre, huh? That’s just an amazing thought–and line! You’re just lovely, Selma!Brilliant.
I just scanned over a few comments–looks like someone wants you to do a voice-over/video link with your poetry/words/stories. You oughta!(And I should know, I’ve done v/o work!)
Now, I must go back to read all your commenters!
LISA – me doing a voice over won’t be pretty. But I am thinking about doing it for a series Nick and I are planning to do on places to see in Sydney. Stay tuned….