The radio news reported extra cold weather in Canada and the internet says that in Ottawa it is minus 23C, but feels like minus 28C! Our friends from the UK have had snow but are not quite so cold. They wrote to us remembering a warm Christmas in Australia 3 years ago. A couple of days ago here on the 'surf coast' the temperature got up to 33 Celsius.
The day before that, Boxing Day, the temperature was in the high 20's and we went for a long walk in Iron Bark Basin, which sits above Point Addis beach.
Many people were enjoying the summer weather on the beach and in the water. Other people were enjoying a birds-eye view.
The trees in the foreground are causurinas, which are mostly found on the cliff edge.
This photo is taken further away from the cliffs and shows the characteristic nature of the bushland of the nature reserve, where the understory has become dominated by the local Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoeas) since the terrible bush fires of 1983. I really like the way there is no visible horizon, just mass of grey tree trunks that recede into the distance.
I was pleased to see this pink ground orchid, Dipodium roseum...
and this delightful...
...very small Fringed Lily Thysanotua tuberosus.
On an earlier walk I had photographed this cluster of dainty Centaurium erythraea. For many years I had thought this to be a native plant. However, some years ago now, my friend Fermi informed me that it was an introduced species that had naturalised.
My big surprise about two weeks ago was to see this gecko one night outside on a glass door. I took the photo without a flash so it is somewhat blurred. I had thought geckos were tropical lizards. A friend of Rosemary and David's identified it as Christinus Marmoratus, which is widely distributed across southern Australia. We live and learn.
This year we had Christmas lunch with my brother and his family in their new house and I offered to create a 'welcoming ikebana' for the entrance.
This provided some interesting challenges. Firstly I set the arrangement against a mirror on a long narrow, hall table. This meant I had to ensure that the back of the arrangement looked attractive as it showed in the mirror. Because the table was about two metres long I was able to extend the width of the arrangement by using a pair of matching vases and and connecting them with Gymea leaves. The flowers were hydrangeas from our garden. The mirror made it difficult to photograph because of the busy reflected room beyond.
This year I made a 'Christmas Tree' from the stripped branches of a poplar tree.
The tree was effectively floating, being suspended from the ceiling and decorated with star-like spinifex sericeus seed-heads, and with gold and silver baubles. I then filled a large ceramic bowl with an abundance of baubles. The inspiration for the last idea I owe to my student Helen, see last week's blog.
Wishing you happiness and peace in the New Year. Greetings from,
31st December 2017