warning: not your regular Garden Blogger Bloom Day post


 Winter's nearly over and spring's budding is beginning. If you look for it, there's quite an air of expectancy among the plants. Unless I've mercilessly pulled them out by their roots to move them, they're all doing well.  And even then, most of them are forgiving.

































































I only wish I could give the fauna an equally positive report. There are a few bees, a few spider webs and the odd native bird. No butterflies, dragonflies or damselflies yet - but they usually appear when the weather is warmer. The birds seem to visit the garden singly these days. When they sing, I interpret it as brave and determined, more than joyous. I don't know what's happened to the blackbirds. I rarely see the tiny darting finches now. There are one or two crows, the magpie that still likes to have a bath in the birdbath, a butcherbird and one or two wattlebirds. 

Being a science fiction fan, I have read lots of dystopias - stories imagining and describing a horrible future for our world and its people.  Most of these worlds no longer have bird life. I have to remind myself they are fiction, and only one of many alternative possible futures. Nothing is determined. Is it?


This post was meant to be a cheery linking with Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, hosted by Carol  at May Dreams Gardens. I'm sorry it didn't turn out like that.  If you've read this far, you can't say you weren't warned.



P.S.  I've been lazy and not identified the plants photographed. If anyone wants details, I'll be pleased to oblige.

Comments

  1. I have not read any of the fiction books that depict a barren world, but following Science and reading the journals and papers, it seems to predict so much that will put a chill down one's spine. I have not noticed a bird decrease as of yet in my area. I know birds like sparrows and even the seemingly numerous grackles are down so many other places. I am now a new member of the Buffalo Ornithological Society and Buffalo Audubon, so I am bound to hear of reduced bird numbers. I only attended one bird banding seminar and they did report seeing less numbers of some species. They catch them in nets set up all over the reserve, and a round I made with them netted NO birds. That was really surprising.

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    1. dear donna, science predictions do make it hard to keep hopeful, and good sci fi writers use their imagination as well as their science knowledge to depict these future worlds. I find that endlessly fascinating. But even if the future looks grim, I don't believe we're ever locked into one single determined future. Life's too complex, there's always the unexpected, unpredictable event. You're amazing, doing the rounds with the local Audubon Society - you seem to fit so much in.

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  2. Most of your plants I recognize. I always watch 'Gardening Australia' :-) But I would like to know the name of the plant with the dark dangling flowers. I think most science fiction writers are very pessimistic. Maybe those stories will warn us not to make to many irreversable mistakes.

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    1. dear Denise, sorry I took so long to answer your question. The photo is a bit misleading because the flowers are actually much smaller and delicate in reality. It is Gastrolobium melanopetalum - a smaller form of Gastrolobium celsanium, that is more common with red pea flowers. Interesting that you watch Gardening Australia - I find the current host a bit hyperactive and irritating, he's just too enthusiastic. But I usually watch it too. My garden was on it a couple of years ago.

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  3. I haven't seen the black Gastrolobium around it certainly is different. We still have an abundance of birdlife hanging around cockatoos magpies crows pigeons, although some of the noisy miners have found other feeding grounds for now. If the huge old eucalyptus wasn't around, a few houses down, there would definitely be less birdlife. Perhaps some of your birds will return with warmer weather.

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    1. hi karen, there's also a black form. I found your comment very enlightening because I suddenly realized: recently the huge old eucalypt 3 doors down was chopped down! That alone is enough to explain the sudden drop in bird numbers. What can I do? I can't support the birds on my own in my little patch. One day I will move, as Faisal has suggested.

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  4. Sorry that you've fewer birds in your garden this season. I hope that they'll soon return! Very exciting that you're experiencing spring. We're still in high summer for a few more weeks!

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    1. dear og, enjoy your summer while it lasts. One of the things I love about blogging about our gardens is that we have opposite seasons.

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  5. I believe man's time on earth is limited as the earth goes through cycles. They say the planet cannot sustain mankind without bees, yet the amounts of pesticides being used in commercial ventures are killing them off. Likewise we are not taking good care of valuable resources such as water and the very air that we breathe. Fracking and extensive mining must surely have a de-stabilising effect. And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Human beings are, I truly believe, the most serious blight yet inflicted on Earth, and we are arrogant to think we have the right of superiority over other life forms.
    In my little corner of the world (NZ) the birds are still numerous around my home thankfully. The end of the world is not quite nigh (barring some catastrophic event) :-)
    Just my opinion ;-)

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    1. hi Lynne, I agree with you. Many people don't look after the world, but hopefully there is a shift in thinking. Not in Australia though. Tony Abbott will become PM and the first thing he will do will repeal the carbon tax because it is bad for business. Greens are the only ones to vote for, I think.

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  6. Well, the plants do look lovely. I hope your dearth of wildlife is temporary. When I feel grumbly about cleaning up the messes my toddler makes each day, I remind myself that God has a big job ahead to clean up the big stinking mess we've made out of this lovely earth. My faith gives me hope despite the depressing news that's always around. I hope others feel at least a flicker of faith that things will work out, because that is determined already.

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    1. Hi VW, thanks for your very thought provoking interesting comment. I don't have your faith to sustain me, but I always find news with rays of hope among the depressing news.

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  7. Be lazy Catmint. Sometimes, from a viewer's point of view, I have to admit, not having too much to think about in a blog post is a sort of comfort.
    Those absent lives will soon return with a vengeance.
    I enjoyed your photos anyway, the small, delicate scale.

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    1. hi faisal, love this comment - so pleased I gave you some comfort by not having too much to think about! (lol) I'm afraid the next post is going to be rather info - heavy. Getting it ready is doing my head in a bit!

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  8. Hi catmint,Just the mention of Spring is enough to put cheer in my simple heart. Great pictures of the plants in your garden at the moment. Hope the birds return soon to lighten your mood.

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    1. dear cyberfriend from sunny scotland, so pleased I cheered you up. Your comment cheered me up - thank you.

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  9. It is, indeed, an interesting GBBD post. But a thought-provoking one. I'm jealous that you are starting spring, while we are about to begin autumn. And I'm also jealous that late winter looks like that in your garden! Nice! I'm glad to know that sometimes other people feel a bit lazy with the labeling, too. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming and the joy of it loses a bit of the luster. I enjoyed (not sure that's the right word, but you know what I mean) this post.

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    1. thanks for the comment, Beth, we have to keep the joy in blogging, I think, firstly it's for us.

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  10. Haha, i am warned, and that moreso inspired me more to read all the details. They are lovely so it's okay to have less blooms, it goes with your seasons i suppose! But i also love your secateurs to be included there, anyway it is ornamentalish! LOL

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    1. hi Andrea, the warning was a good way to get you to read the details! I'm tempted to try it again, but it mightn't work so well next time - lol. I love my secateurs, next to my dog Potter they are my best gardening friend.

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  11. Where I live (upstate New York, in the United States) things are out of balance - honeybees seem to have almost vanished, wasp populations are down, mosquitoes (and Lyme Disease) way up. It doesn't seem to rain in our country any more - rain hangs around for day after days and city after city floods. I do read young adult dystopian literature and sometimes it does sem to echo in what I am seeing in the world around me. Even reading the comment from the person in New Zealand and mentioning fracking (a big issue where I live) made me thoughtful. Still, I enjoyed your post very much and - I also wish our month before the spring equinox looked like yours! What we usually have is - snow. Happy GBBD!

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    1. dear bw, years ago I stayed in upstate NY in winter and found the snow a magical experience. It was such a novelty. Here we are lucky because we can garden all year round, except during very hot summers, which don't happen every year - YET!!?? Fracking is happening here too - it's quite horrifying, but still it's happening. Sorry the weather is so out of balance over there, and insect life so changed, with mosquitos replacing bees and wasps. Still, it's good to share our experiences! cheers, cm

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  12. Unfortunately there definitely seems to be alarm bells ringing very very loudly around the world. It's quite worrying. Up here I'm very fortunate to be able to report seeing lots of insects, birds and bees for most of the year. We don't seem to be having quite the same changes in that regard.

    BTW, your garden is looking fabulous. You've got some beautiful blooms on show right now. Definitely cheered me up seeing all those lovely things.

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    1. hi bernie, I guess you're not having the same changes because Townsville is a small place, and still has lots of vegetation around. Thanks for the compliment about the garden. I feel it's still developing - will it ever be finished???????

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  13. Lovely that spring is almost here for you...we are headed to fall but I am also alarmed at the lack of butterflies here...birds, dragonflies and bees are numerous with the native plants but the butterflies i fear are in jeopardy.

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    1. dear donna, let's hope it's just a bad year for butterflies ...

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  14. We still have lots of birds here, more every year. Too many blackbirds,in fact, scratching all the mulch and seedlings out of the gardens! But I will try to appreciate them more, Cat, I promise.

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    1. dear lyn, isn't there a song about 'you don't know what you miss till they're gone?' Something like that anyway ... Maybe you need to start a school for blackbirds, teaching them to scratch more considerately?????? After all, you do provide them with a lot of worms, so it's the least they could do.

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  15. Give it more time. The end is not near. Birds and insects are much more sensitive to weather patterns than we are and may have changed their schedule without notice. I wouldn't worry unless they just don't show up at all. They just might be late to the party this year.

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    1. Tammy dear, I hope you're right, but I fear the removal of the huge gum tree three doors down was the last straw for a lot of them - so much of their habitat has gone. If the don't come back hopefully they are OK and have found better places to nest and feed.

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  16. our neighbours took down an Australian acacia that was rotten and coming down in chunks. I have the pictures waiting for a one day blog post. The first 2 evenings the birds swooped in towards evening - landed on the wall - and said where's our tree? We have planted lots of trees, but they are not really big enough for the birds to shelter in, yet.

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    1. But what do the birds do in the meantime while they're waiting for the new trees to grow? Those habitats that have gone provided food as well as shelter. I'm going to a talk in a few weeks about attracting birds to your backyard, so I'm hoping to learn useful stuff.

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  17. I'm still seeing birds. The mousebirds like fruit and I see a small flock on a bush my neighbour has, an unknown to me with big purple berries.

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    1. now it's nearly spring, there are a few more birds around. I've never seen mousebirds, sound like they are suffering an identity crisis. Must confuse owls terribly.

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  18. Sorry you're not seeing as many birds as usual. I hope the removal of the eucalyptus tree is the cause. I have been encouraged this year by the sight of several different types of frogs that have been visiting my garden this year. You have so many beautiful blooms so early in the spring. I can feel the changing of the seasons, too, and after our hot and dry summer, I am looking forward to it!

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    1. I think autumn (fall) is a lovely season too, just as lovely as spring in a different way. Apparently our spring is forecast to be quite rainy, which isn't good for flood prone areas but is good for my garden. I really should get a pond too. That's wonderful that you're seeing new frogs.

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  19. I enjoy the dystopian genre (especially young adult). Sometimes when I think of climate change, I think of a book the late author George Turner wrote called Drowning Towers. I read that book years ago and it has stayed with me ever since. I'll be hoping you don't get enough rain for your flood prone areas to flood. We've had too much flooding in our country this year.

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  20. thanks, bw, I'm afraid we're in for a bad summer of bushfires. I'm not familiar with George Turner, I'll make a note of it. A favourite of mine is The Drowned World, by J.G.Ballard - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/262356.The_Drowned_World

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