We returned home ten days ago from our trip to Japan and Taiwan. I was relieved to find that the garden was in a good state, having been watered in our absence, as arranged. In fact a couple of days before we returned there was an exceptionally heavy storm in our area leaving the ground quite damp. Nothing has died and the weeds are not too big!

This is how the beach looked this morning after further rain overnight...

...and the promise of a little more today.

Having come home from travelling, one of the things that I noticed is the chattering and song of the large variety of birds that visit our garden. It is certainly greater than in the cities in Japan and Taiwan.

Yesterday I noticed a lot of eucalyptus flowers strewn on the grass.  

These creamy flowers are on a street tree.

The next tree has deep red flowers, which were also on the grass underneath the tree.

The flowers are a source of nectar for the Rainbow Lorikeets that visit our garden. These small parrots are to be found all along the eastern coast of Australia. The flowers scattered on the grass have probably been chewed off by the larger Sulphur Crested Cockatoos.

I took the two photos below in the garden this morning.

The much better photo below is from a website setup by a primary teacher and a librarian for school children. You can check it out here: Rainbow Lorikeet.

As we are now deeply into Autumn, this week I set my students the exercise of making an arrangement, incorporating berries and/or fruiting branches. 

Kim borrowed the apples from fellow student Val and my vase by Ian Jones. Kim wisely curled the fig leaf, which came from the garden, because otherwise it looked too flat.

In the evening class Christine chose this branch of quince with a particularly interesting line. Some solid mechanics went into keeping the heavy stem from resting on the side of her Graeme Wilkie vase.

Greetings from Christopher
6th May 2017

* The title of the blog comes from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Near the end of the film the good witch Glinda says to Dorothy: '...tap your heels together three times and think to yourself, there's no place like home

(after five and a half weeks of travelling)

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