The 1st of September marks the start of spring here in Australia. In contrast to the northern reaches of the world, where the start of spring means you're in for another couple feet of snow this week and enjoy it while you can because two months of mud, rain, and half-thawed dog poops are ahead, in Australia, when the calendar says "spring", Mother Nature responds, "On your marks... get set... SUNSCREEN!"
Many people find spring to be the nicest time of the year in Sydney. Chilly winter is at an end, but the heat of summer hasn't started yet. It's still cool enough in the shade right now that some of the trains and buses have the heat on instead of the air con. This makes me no end of happy.
Early last week, something occurred to me. I was walking past a house around the corner that was covered with some sort of drippy whitish flower that smelled like love and joy and all good things, and I remembered stumbling upon a sea of tulips at the Botanic Gardens last year. It's been warming up quickly in the last couple weeks, and tulips have but a short life, so I consulted my weekend timetable and scheduled an emergency investigation for this afternoon.
It turns out my spidey-sense was correct. Springtime pinks and whites and peaches have flooded the gardens once again! I was right to go when I did, too. Most of the tulips have already opened their faces as far as they can, and soon they will be past their prime. There are mini-daffodils too. I love daffodils. If sunshine had a stem, it would be a daffy-down-dilly.
I also loved these pink ones. Don't know what they're called, but they came in different shades of pink and reminded me of the burst of colour that is Sweet William, which reminds me of popsicles and bare feet and running through sprinklers on July afternoons.
It's been a while since I last visited the Botanic Gardens, and I noticed something else while I was there - a certain lack of high-pitched screeching. It seems the giant bats of doom (i.e. the flying foxes) have been evicted. I remember reading some bit of news a few months back about how people were thinking of launching some sort of noise attack that would chase off the bats and give the trees they've been killing a chance to recover. There are all sorts of bird sounds at the gardens now.
There is also a noticeable change in the odor of the place. The pungent scent of bat pee that greeted me when I first visited the gardens 3.5 years ago has been replaced by the scent of flowers. Can you imagine?