All of a sudden, it is a busy time. September the first is the first official day of Spring (as opposed to the actual first day of Spring) and it seems that Perth and its residents had been suddenly released from the endless drudgery of winter.
Given I moan non-stop about the heat, I have made it a policy never to complain about the cold and the wet. It lasts a relatively short time and is warm compared to the UK in temperature, so it should feel like a doddle. In terms of rain, I was gobsmacked to learn when I first got here that Perth has roughly the same annual rainfall as London. The difference is that Perth get is it all in one hit during the winter – when it rains here, it really rains – and London has more of a continuous drizzle across the year and every time you want to have a BBQ.
I have to admit, it has felt a little colder this year and I have been aware of a few more complaints then normal about winter. I thought I was just getting old, but on September 1st, the perky weather presenter on TV gleefully informed us that not only had it been the wettest winter in 18 years, it had been the coldest in twenty. The wet winter, though, means that Spring is really straining at the bit to get on out there and is pretty much pushing through the calendar before the Equinox, much to the delight and relief of local residents.
It really does seem to be all around. Down at the park, the Magpies and Honeyeaters have started to mark their territories in preparation for a bit of adult cuddling. Both these birds in Western Australia (but especially the Magpies) have reputations for swooping anyone and thing that comes near their trees during this season. It can be quite scary as they dive bomb their unsuspecting victims repeatedly to demonstrate to the females what excellent nest guardians they will make.
Very rarely, someone will lose an eye in a Magpie attack, but generally sunglasses and a large hat or precautionary umbrella during swooping season if you happen to know there are Magpies in the area will protect you, that is, unless you have seen The Birds. Archie has clearly not seen The Birds as he trotted happily through the park today completely oblivious to a Honeyeater furiously trying to scare him off with low diving missions over his back and head. I suspect that is one Honeyeater who is not going to get lucky tonight.
Last night, as I drove the dogs home from their walk in the car, two ducks and their clutch of ducklings appeared from behind a fence on my right. The ducklings trickled over the pavement slab and trotted across the road in front of my stationary car as I watched them with the two adult ducks following their brood protectively. Turning left up the road, four cherry trees in front of someone’s house were in full bloom – and indeed the wet winter has brought the wildflowers out in force all over the state. The Spring is brief, but right now it is warming up to give us all it has got.
Even my blog platform seems to have been gripped by a new energy. Tonight I noticed a typo on a previous blog (they are all first draft so riddled with them). Correcting it, I am not sure what I did, but instead of just editing the blog, WordPress updated and republished it with today’s date.
I was surprised how much this annoyed me. But my lovely list of daily posts, endured by my tiny band of loyal, hardy followers was now apparently void of one day’s post and to add insult to injury, I had an awful feeling that as a ‘new’ post it might have triggered another alert to my followers. I have no idea how I managed to do this. I have made countless edits to posts before and this has never happened. Maybe it was just Spring Fever. I tried to go back to an earlier revision, but although the typo reappeared, the date did not change. Finally, after some furious trawling through the Help pages, I found the page that showed me how to use the tiny hidden calendar to schedule future posts, but also to change back the date on my errant one.
In keeping with early spring weather, the sun has now dipped below the horizon and taken its warmth with it. The fire is on and I suspect it will be a few weeks yet before I can coax my husband away from the electric blanket switch. In the meantime, there are lighter skies in the morning to enjoy and the sun’s warmth on the garden seats for my dogs to bathe in. Not bad for a free service.