Australian Springtime – don’t blink you might miss it
If you want a ‘The Day of the Triffid’s experience, springtime in Melbourne Australia is the place to be. At this time of year I swear that as soon as I look away from the plants in my back garden then look back again, they’ve grown at least 1 inch. It definitely brings back memories of the film, where the main actors are unaware of the foliage creeping towards them. So sitting in my back yard at the beginning of September can be a disturbing experience.
Desperate to get the reproductive cycle out-of-the-way before the hot temperate days set in, nature speeds up. It reduces a season that takes three months in England into a time frame of weeks.
Here in the first week trees start to produce new leaf and flower buds, the possums go into a feeding frenzy, hay fever sufferers wake up with stuffed up noses and the parrots return to the city. In week two, flowers burst forth and newly green clothed tree branches rustle in the wind. By the end of week three it’s all over and white blankets of tree blossom lie on the ground and swirling clouds of airborne seeds terrorise the neighbourhood.
Of course there are other signs that spring has arrived. Gym membership triples for the first month then dies back down again. Salads become the main event at lunch, and Australians brave cold winds and get their shorts out .
People often ask me if I miss England and to be honest apart from my family, friends and English pubs the answer would have to be, not really. But now I’m reminded of English springs where crocus, daffodils, snow drops and tulips bloom in abundance and woods grow rich green carpets, full of nodding bluebells, their scent permeating the mauve tinted air.
Suddenly I long for four seasons not just the wet and dry.