Springtime brings a whole new burst of colour to our National Parks, parks and gardens and home gardens, with wildflowers and tree blossoms bursting out in colourful flowers and heady scents. It also brings out the wildlife on the hunt for food, sometimes with spring babies in tow.
For such hardy trees I’m often surprised at the finely delicate flowers that burst into bloom on Eucalypts (gum trees). Sometimes the flowers are so subtle that you don’t notice them at first but they bring the wild birds and bees around. There are many great honeys you can buy which have been flavoured by various gum blossoms, delicious.
Wildlife is on the move too, kangaroos and emus can be seen in protected areas as well as rural areas and plenty of lizards are out and about sunning themselves. Unfortunately this means there are quite a few on roads at the moment so it pays to keep your eyes open and avoid them if at all possible. Recently I’ve spotted blue tongue lizards and sleepy or stumpy tail lizards. In fact we have a resident blue tongue lizard living in our yard at home, his rustling in the dry leaves always keeps us alert but so far it’s only been him.
Something no one is ever too keen to see but must be aware of in Australia are snakes, which are absolutely out now too. You have to assume if you’re near long grass and scrub, whether it’s in the bush or suburbia, there could be snakes. Even at the beach you’re not safe, recently on a morning walk we noticed a small brown snake retreating quickly from a sandy path to the beach. There are warnings around where you should pay extra attention but it’s always still an unsettling occurrence.
It’s definitely the time of year to be alert and always keep your pets on leash when walking them too. The joys of summer in Australia! In the words of poet Dorothea Mackellar, ‘Her beauty and her terror, the wide brown land for me’.