Book Reviews

The Fear – The Dark is Rising

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“It was then, without warning, that the fear came.” Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising Oh! The beautiful opening chapter of The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, which I’m reading in a massive worldwide book group on Twitter,  has brought back all my inexplicable moments of nature fear – or just The Fear, as […]

Nature

Dark matter and stardust

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I love it when black hollyhocks appear, having self-seeded. It’s like having Edgar Allen Poe or Neil Gaiman popping in for a cup of tea. Sometimes, they cross with other hollyhocks, and appear more of a dark purple. The darkness can be variable each year, so when you get a true deep black emerging, it […]

Ecology

Hyper-linked

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In the breath-held beauty of night, every leaf seems paused as if painted in still life, branches striking shapes, shadow-shifting in the moonlit corners of my sight. Crickets sing a rhythmic chorus under the waxing glow of gibbous moon, inciting beetle feet to tread their forests of towering grass blades. The dance of Diplopoda feet, […]

Growing food

Upfront-worthy veg

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We’re the hippies of the hood perhaps, with our mostly native rambling front garden but I decided to forge on a bit further and gently introduce some vegetables as it’s a great growing site. It’s a first for me in an Australian garden growing vegetables in the front (did it in the UK as we […]

Ecology

Ramshackle insect shack hacks

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I’ve been keen to try building nest blocks for blue-banded bees, by packing a clay/sand mix into rectangular PVC pipe after hearing about this technique and seeing it online.I’ve looked at a few ideas for insect hotels and made a list of materials required. However, perhaps because of my recent sessions at Onkaparinga’s Living Smart […]

Ecology

Blue-banded bees (Amegilla) – native Australian bees

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This is where I am logging the first sightings in my garden (McLaren Vale, South Australia) of native blue-banded bees (Amegilla) each year,  going back to 2014 which is the first year I noticed them and fell head-over heels in love. To find out more about these incredibly beautiful bees, start with Australian Native Blue […]

Nature

Impossible

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The tree heard The acorn’s words A sleep-talking sigh Of touching blue sky. “Impossible” said the tree “Just too small! So forget it all!”

Myth & folklore

Learning to talk with small gods

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Because although I still have a lot to learn, my valley is claiming me through small gods. whispering voices of sheoak the different rhythm of the feet of my chickens that tells me they are excited to follow me and makes me laugh out loud the sound of a blue-banded bee long before it can be seen that […]