Tonight I heard on the news that it rained in every town throughout the state of New South Wales today. The whole of the eastern coast of the state, and towns further north into southern Queensland, are on alert for excessive rainfall and flooding.
While media alarmists cry out “climate change,” the realists among the press – and yes, fortunately, there are some realists remaining in Australian media circles – reminded viewers tonight of a famous poem, once taught to most school aged children. The poem, “My Country” by Dorothea Mackellar, written between 1904 and 1908, is a timely reminder of the predictable harshness of the climate in this country I call home.
“My Country” is a beautiful poem. It romantisises Australia, while at the same time emphasising the ruggedness and challenges of living in this land. The second verse of the six verse poem is the most famous and is the verse I am sharing today. The other five verses can be found on the Official Dorothea Mackellar website.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!
~~ Dorothea Mackellar.
After heavy overnight rain, I hadn’t expected Mount Warning to look so clear this morning. When the view is as crystal-clear as it was today, it seems to have been washed clean by the rain.
Misty swirls lingered throughout the morning, very noticeable against the rich blue/grey/green colour of the ranges.
Also washed clean were the birds! This is a female magpie lark, or pee wee.
And this is one of two baby butcher birds I have visiting this year.
I particularly like this photo of Hoppy, sitting on my undercover clothes line – his preferred perch when he visits – with the morning sun glistening on raindrops caught in the purple tibouchina tree in the background. ❤
A slither of blueness returned to the morning sky today, just a slither, but enough to give me hope that today might just be the day the mountain would reappear, after sulking behind a wall of clouds for the past four days.
Little Hoppy (of gammy leg fame) was on standby, watching the mountain with me. I can always count on Hoppy to drop by every morning.
But wait – the Three Stooges are here as well, with clean and fluffy feathers after several days of being washed by the rain – repeatedly.
Not to be outdone, baby magpie waited patiently for me to turn around and take a photo of him as well.
Meanwhile, the mountain remained mostly hidden for most of the morning.
Early in the afternoon, most of the cloud cover had disappeared. Seeing the beautiful vivid blueness of the ranges is good for my soul, even if a few clouds lingered.
Less than an hour later, we had a complete mountain view!
I kept on checking the mountain today, and she was full of surprises. At dusk, even though she had caught a few clouds again, the setting sun’s dazzling rays shone across her lower ranges.
Quite a few daylilies appeared today, so while I had my camera in hand, I thought I’d better preserve some of their splendour. They are called daylilies for a reason, and will be gone by tomorrow.
During the few short minutes while I had wandered off to visit the daylilies, the mountain had changed again, this time darkening in preparedness for nightfall. Today, however, Mount Warning had one last treat remaining …
Goodnight mountain. ❤
The sky had the slightest tinge of pink early this morning, (although it doesn’t show up in the photo) and as the day progressed and the low cloud cleared, Mount Warning stood beautiful and clear in all her blue-green glory. I must be growing used to seeing clouds over the mountain though, as I chose this photo over clearer sky photos I took later in the day due to the character clouds add to the early morning sky.
Joining me to enjoy the early morning view from the tibouchina tree was my little Butcher Bird friend, Hoppy (of gammy leg fame) …
… and joining Hoppy was one of the two new additions to the Butcher Bird family this year.
While I was eating breakfast, I heard the sound of something we don’t hear a lot of now in these covid days – a ‘plane. And I knew from the whiring of the ‘plane’s engine that this was not a passenger ‘plane. It was here to fly over the valley and dust the crops. I had to zoom in fully to take the photo, and the photo is severely cropped, but at least the ‘plane is in focus. 🙂
When I turned around from taking the photo of the crop-dusting ‘plane, I spotted Bubba Magpie. I’m not sure if he dropped by to say hello, or seeing my camera he decided to pose. Either way, the sun shining on his still-downie baby feathers lit up the black and white pattern which will progressively turn shiny black as he matures.
I have decided these two are an item now, so I will introduce them as Mr and Mrs Pee Wee. Although she is the newest addition to my regular feathered visitors, Mrs, on the left, seems quite dominent, and doesn’t hesitate to come right up close to me when I am feeding the birds their breakfast.
The weather felt warmer in temperature today than it has been, but the lower humidity made the warmth of the day very pleasant indeed.
I could get used to summer if every day felt as beautiful as today. ❤