Australia · Changes · clouds · colours · Mount Warning · rain · subtropical weather · summer · sunset · Tweed Valley

Patchy Blue Sky Amid Patchy Rain

Between the unexpected rain showers we are having each day, occasionally we will see patches of blue sky. I will have to get used to this strange weather we are having. It is apparently due to the current La Niña weather pattern, which is far too complex for my un-scientific brain to understand, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Today, once again, I hardly saw Mount Warning. There were some interesting cloud pattern and colours though, and even a few patches of blue sky, so I took a few photos while the mountain wasn’t completely hidden.

Twenty minutes later, this was the resulting change the sunset made …

Who would think that during just twenty minutes, there would be so much difference to the sky? 😮


Australia · blessings · cakes · Changes · clouds · farewell · garden flowers · granddaughter · gratitude · In My World · memories · Mount Warning · new beginnings · new year · pets · photography · rain · subtropical weather · summer · Tweed Valley

Goodbye, 2020.

Words seem to escape me tonight. What does one say as the year 2020 draws to a close?

I could state the obvious, that this year has been an extremely difficult year for many people, but we all know that. It’s hardly a profound statement.

It has definitely been a year of change – we all know that as well.

So I will tell you all some new news, about my day filled with magical moments. 🙂

It rained overnight, washing away the dusty air in the valley. I awoke to a crystal clear – picture perfect, I would say – scene of Mount Warning.

As always, when Forrest and Brontë enjoyed some time in the sun, it was my Labrador, Brontë, who kept watch.

Raindrops from our overnight shower clung to my potted Petunias. I love these colours so much! Pink and purple flowers in my garden make my heart sing!

Inside the house, Bowie boy posed beautifully for the camera. ❤

And when my little granddaughter came to visit, she was very excited to finally try a piece of the Christmas cake she has been eyeing off every time she has visited since Christmas Day.

While I had my camera out, Aurora told her Mummy and Daddy to say “cheese,” then she took her own photo. Don’t you just love the imagination of children? And Aurora’s curls? ❤

Miss Tibbs prefers to hide when visitors arrive. I found her after my visitors had left, in her usual place on my sewing table.

Around sunset, a sudden noise alerted me to a change in the weather. It had remained sunny most of the day – the sun was still shining – but a sudden gush of rain fell from a huge unexpected cloud that had rolled in from the coast.

We had the most spectacular sunshower. I took a few photos from my veranda, as the rain really was quite heavy, and had whipped up a windy squall from the south.

So the day that began crystal-clear-perfect ended with a brilliant sunshower. Two incredibly stunning, yet totally different views of Mount Warning. What a way to end the year!

I feel a tad sorry for the year 2020. It has taken a bad rap, particularly since March. But was it the fault of the year that so many things went awry? I don’t believe it was. Every year, we experience the good and the bad situations that life offers, and we can’t claim 2020 to be all “bad” can we?

For me, 2020 was the year my grandson, Eli, was born. It is also the year I learned that I have two more grandsons on the way. The units I completed at university were two of my most enjoyable units so far, and I was graded with a high distinction for both units. I have had the opportunity to spend more time at home, therefore more time in my garden. Since July, I have blogged every day and made more friends in the blogging community.

No, 2020 wasn’t all bad, not for me at least.

As we welcome in the New Year of 2021, we are presented with a brand new opportunity to begin again, with a clean slate. No mistakes, no problems, just a choice of how we will react to the good moments, and the bad, that 2021 presents us with. ❤

Australia · birds · Changes · clouds · daughter · grandson · in my garden · Mount Warning · music · native Australian birds · seasons · subtropical weather · summer · Tweed Valley

The Summer

If I could bottle up the sea breeze I would take it over to your house
And pour it loose through your garden
So the hinges on your windows would rust and colour
Like the boats pulled up on the sand for the summer
And your sweet clean clothes would go stiff on the line
And there’d be sand in your pockets and nothing on your mind ~ Josh Pyke.

Summer wasn’t shy today about letting us know it had arrived. At 31°C and 88 percent humidity, it felt like the middle of summer and not the first day. Tomorrow’s prediction is for 35°C (95°F).

Regardless of the weather, I had a very special visitor today, my daughter Emma and her three-and-a-half month old son, Eli. Today, Emma turned 28. I apologise profusely every year for having her at such a hot time of year, which also happens to be the month of Christmas so her birthday can easily be overshadowed by another significant event. This birthday though, as Emma is now a mother herself and realises the futility of my tongue-in-cheek comment, we agreed that babies usually arrive on the day of their choice.

After Emma and Eli headed home, I spent some time Christmas gift shopping online. Even though Australia is travelling incredibly well Covid-wise, I’m still a bit of a scaredy-cat about spending time in crowds. Perhaps more to the point, it saves me time to shop online when I’m still sorting, cleaning, tidying and decluttering my house.

Maggie in a Tizz.

During the afternoon I heard a commotion out in the front garden. Noisy Miner birds – who are named “noisy” for a reason! – were kicking up a ruckus in the tree at the top of our garden, their squawks intermittently interrupted by the sound of a distressed Magpie.

I tried to ignore the noise, but it got the better of me. Even the two dogs sprawled out beside me got up and peered out the door, as if investigating the situation. The dogs know, just as I do, that magpies and miners are friends. If a miner carries on a treat as they were doing today, there’s a threat. I imagined one of the neighbours cats may be lurking around the tree.

Ignoring the noise wasn’t working for me, so I ignored the heat instead, and trudged to the top of the hill to investigate. Whatever the threat was, it seemed to be in the tree, which meant it could be a snake wrapped around a high branch sheltering from the heat of the day.

This is what I found –

A Pee Wee!

We occasionally see Magpie Larks in the garden, and I have noticed recently we have one dropping into the back garden each morning after the other birds have finished eating the food I give them. Magpie Larks are another native Australian bird, affectionately known as Pee Wees. They have a very pretty song and seem completely harmless, so goodness knows why the magpies objected so much to the visit. Maybe the magpie family feel that they “own” my yard, and the tree being in our yard belongs to them.

Satisfied that one tiny pee wee posed no threat to my lovely magpie family, I paused to take a photo of Mount Warning, which could be seen today, although not as clearly visible as it could be (first photo).

Later tonight at around sunset, I took another photo of the mountain. Dark patches of cloud had rolled in, and we didn’t see the beautiful orange sunset sky we have had lately.

The opening words of today’s post are song lyrics from Josh Pyke, an Australian singer, whose creativity with words conjures images of immense beauty when describing the most mundane moments of everyday life. This song is called The Summer, so very appropriate for today. I love this song as the words romanticise the one season of the year that I struggle to cope with. For anyone interested, here’s the rest of the lyrics to The Summer ~

But every year it gets a little bit harder
To get back to the feeling of when we were fifteen
And we could jump in the river upstream
And let the current carry us to the beginning where
The river met the sea again
And all our days were a sun-drenched haze
While the salt spray crusted on the window panes

We should be living like we lived that summer
I wanna live like we live in the summer
We should be living like we lived that summer
I wanna live like we live in the summer
We should be living like we lived that summer
I wanna live like we live in the summer

And I’ll remember that summer as the right one
The storms made the pavement steam like a kettle
And our first goodbye always seemed like hours
In the car park in between my house and yours
And if the summer holds a song we might sing forever
The winter holds a bite we’d never felt before

But time is like the ocean
You can only hold a little in your hands
So we swim before we’re broken
Before our bones become
Black coral on the sand

We should be living like we lived that summer
I wanna live like we live in the summer
We should be living like we lived that summer
I wanna live like we live in the summer
We should be living like we lived that summer
I wanna live like we live in the summer
So if I could bottle up the sea breeze I would take it over to your house
And pour it loose through your garden ~ Josh Pyke.

Australia · Changes · daughter · family · flowers · granddaughter · in my garden · Mount Warning · native Australian birds · palm trees · realities · spring · subtropical weather · Tweed Valley

No Mountain Today …

Today I haven’t seen Mount Warning at all, not even for a second. There is no rain about, so I can’t blame the whiteness on distant rain. The day has been warm, dull, and humid, so perhaps it is heat-haze. It has also been extremely windy all day, so my granddaughter and I couldn’t even enjoy some time in the garden today while she was visiting. So indoors we remained, playing with farm animals, reading books, and watching some cartoons on TV. It is easy to keep Aurora occupied, both indoors and outside, and she is wonderful company. I must admit to being a tad tired tonight though after a whole day with my lovely little visitor.

Considering the lack of an interesting mountain photo today, it is a good opportunity to share a couple of photos taken during the past week. First I have a photo of a cute little Honeyeater who visited my back garden recently. If it wasn’t for the rustling of the palm leaves, I wouldn’t have known he was there.

The gum tree the trio of Kookaburras are perched in is right down the back of our garden. I realised these three were there when they had a laughing competition with another group of distant kookaburras. I’d love to know what they were saying to each other.

The last photo is from May. I came across this photo when looking for flower photos for The Week of Flowers posts, so saved it as an extra to share this week. It is a beautiful bunch of flowers my daughter – Aurora’s mummy – gave me for my birthday.

So here we are, the 30th of November, the last day of spring. It is with a touch of trepidation that I will turn the page of my calendar tomorrow morning to the first day of summer. Every year, I try to find positive aspects of my least favoured season of the year, and by the end of summer I always look back and think the heat wasn’t as difficult to cope with as I imagined it would be. It’s a bit like a visit to the dentist really, an unpleasant thought until it’s over. Once again, I have my fingers crossed that we will have rain without floods and heat without melting! I learned many years ago that when living in a subtropical climate, it’s useless wishing for no extreme heat and no cyclonic rain. Mother Nature will do as she does regardless. 🙂


Australia · Changes · flowers · Mount Warning · renovations · seasons · son · spring · subtropical weather · Tweed Valley

A Week of Flowers – Day 3

We had another dull, but warm weather day today as spring winds down for another year. We usually have several storms during our subtropical summer, and just as I began to type this post, I heard the first clap of thunder rolling around the night skies.

For Day 3 of Cathy’s Week of Flowers, I looked back on photos I had taken earlier this year and found several I had taken in May. My youngest son gave me a huge bunch of flowers for my birthday, and he had chosen some stunning flowers to include. He called the photo above a “Cabbage Rose”. Whether or not that is what this unusual flower is called I really don’t know, but the description certainly suits the flower.

The three photos above were all the same bunch of flowers – such variety!  🙂

If you look carefully at the last photo you will see the faintest outline of Mount Warning. I took this photo quite early in the day, and the view of the mountain became even fainter, if that’s possible, this afternoon. Perhaps tonight’s rain will wash away the haze and I will have a clearer image of the mountain to share tomorrow.

As for the new floor, it’s getting there. There’s just a few details that need finishing tomorrow, but hopefully by Thursday I will be able to clean up the dusty layer covering every surface of the house and turn the room back into my own.

I just love the new floor! It’s so lovely to walk on and it will be easier to clean than carpet.

I think the poor man laying the floor for us hadn’t planned on returning for a third day, but he’d worked a long day and thinks he’ll have the job finished within a couple of hours. Husband and I both agree he’s done a wonderful job for us and has taken great care to give the floor a smooth finish, which we appreciate very much.

It will be interesting to see how the rooms comes together now. I’m on a decluttering spree – which has lasted, so far, about a year, but that’s another story for another day – so I don’t intend taking anything back into the area unless I am sure I will use it.