Friday, May 15, 2009

Canberra autumn

Before I moved here I had heard, over and over, that Canberra really and truly had four seasons (unlike many other parts of Australia), so I was expecting autumn to come around in due course. After two summers in a row--a sticky Boston summer followed by a scorching Canberra summer--I’ve been actively looking forward to it. But I wasn’t expecting it to be, you know, autumnal. But it is: crisp, clear, dry days with brilliant blue skies. Early twilights and frosty nights. Acorns falling off trees and piles of leaves to scuff through. Foliage. All of my favorite parts of a New England autumn--right here in Australia.

I keep forgetting that the calendar says it’s the middle of May. Every other day I have a ten-second panic attack that I need to start my Christmas shopping. Then I remember that Christmas isn’t for another seven months and go back to enjoying the bizarre wonderfulness of it all. Because there are just enough things to remind me that I’m not really in New England, and the middle picture above is my current favorite Australian autumn sight. It may look like three ears of corn growing in a pine tree (obligatory food reference), but it’s really a Silver Banksia, a native Australian shrub that flowers (yes, those are flowers) from February to June--in other words, late summer to early winter.

I felt very disoriented by t-shirts and flip flops in November, but I don’t seem to mind wool sweaters and apple pie in May a bit.

Just really ready for some cooler weather? Or could it be that I’m going native?


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