Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Winter Solstice!

Which is a funny old-fashioned way of saying yay! today is the shortest day of the year.

Here's how to know it's winter at Kurrajong -

There's smoke coming out of the chimney above the lounge room fire.  In fact, there's smoke coming out of everyone's chimney above the lounge room fire.  There's so much smoke in the air that if it was summer and this smoky, we'd all be cursing the bushfires or the pyromaniac neighbours for destroying our air quality.  But somehow, because we are making the smoke and are inside warming our toes in front of said fire, we don't seem to worry.  Note the wire netting to keep the mynahs from falling down the chimney.  Which they have done.

Meanwhile, inside, we're actually lucky if we can get close enough to the fire to warm our toes.  You have to be quick to get a spot.  Here's Merlin, our new rescue dog, who seems to have worked it all out.

Outside, the wattle is flowering,

and the leaves on the Japanese Maple are beautifully red.

After all the rain last month, the roses came down with a universal dose of black spot and they are all, without exception, basically nude of leaves!  Here's Brother Cadfael, with no leaves but one sweet, enormous bloom.

These are some of the violets that arrived here around the roots of the irises I brought from the previous garden.  Such pretty flowers but so invasive.  Behind this clump is a little rabbit dig which appeared a few nights ago.  This probably explains how Ewan McGregor can be sound asleep on the end of the bed one moment and, a fraction of a millisecond later, is wake, has leapt off the bed, torn up the hallway, shot out through the doggie door, down the back stairs and is barking madly at the side fence.  How does he do that?

The jonquils are the first of the bulbs to flower.

Meanwhile, inside, other signs of winter are very evident -

One day soon, I hope to stop coughing my lungs out and blowing my nose.