"I walk through this Southern Spring
I glide through the streets of my hometown
seems strange to know my way around
not always be checking maps and fares & bus timetables..."
- Penelope Swales from her song 'Southern Spring' off her album Returning on Foot (1995)
Today is, officially, the first day of our Southern Spring. This however doesn't say a great deal about the exactitude of our regimented Westernised 4-to-the-pie seasonal differentiations. You see, the indigenous peoples of the Sydney localities counted six seasons per year, and six seasons is about right in accurately determining the climactic patterns of the Sydney region. Along with obvious changes of weather patterns such as humidity, temperature, wind direction, stability & pressure systems, the aboriginies used natural indicators to predict changes in weather. From bearded dragons sitting with head pointing to sky and currawongs flying overhead to predict rain, to observing queen-wattle blooming heavily and bush ants abandoning nests for mounds of dirt predicting bushfires, the indigenous peoples really had a more natural, effective system of gauging seasonal variations, far more in tune with the earth and her systems when compared to our lumbering, high-tech scientific gadgetary and posturings.
Two of the six Aboriginal seasons would have easily fitted into our Spring, for Spring is the longest season in Sydney. Usually Spring stretches from late-August to around Christmas-time. This year however I've noticed that August has been noticably colder; June & July are usually the coldest months of the year though with this year in particular there has been much chill wind and chill morn throughout the month of August. I have read some two or three years ago that there is a trend in worldwide weather patterns whereby autumns are warming whilst springs are cooling, meaning in short that the latency periods of warming & cooling etc from the time of solstices (21 Dec & 21 June) are widening.
Early Spring is nice, like today, 1st September, I've noticed the light to be that bit more dazzling, lasting longer into the afternoon with a promising shade of warmth in the air. The smells in tree/shrub-lying areas were noticeably invigorating, the perfumed air of flowers & petals in bloom. September is good for that, the buzz of warmth & fresh bloom and flowers. The extra bit of warmth, sans cold changes of course, is most welcome for a city that rarely utilises central heating in its abodes for the winter months.
October is very patchy - I'll say more about that next month. November leads to December and by Christmas it's the height of summer, and the week-long party stretching all the way to New Years Day.
All very laid-back and civilised...it's good having the end of year build-up to the height of summer, makes you feel like you've accomplished something, even if you haven't!!! There's always the beach, or beer, or sunshine, to make you feel good about the year gone by.
90% of the Earth's population live in the northern hemisphere, and the majority of this population live in non-tropical areas so now they will be experiencing fall going into winter. On a more serious note it's worth observing events in the fall, particularly in USA where things tend to 'happen' more in the 2nd half of the year. I'm interested to see how things transpire with the banking sector, the stockmarket, the price of crude oil, and most of all, the presidential election. I've read about so many possibilities that it's hard to gauge the truth of validity of any of it except to say if there's going to be any "landing", let's just hope it's a soft one. What happens in the States that is of worldwide significance directly affects Australia too.
Yet we are moving into interesting times, perhaps more interesting than what's gone before. What I mean by "interesting" is anybody's guess, including mine. The presidential election of 2008 perhaps is symbolic of that? One thing's for sure, I would NEVER be voting for some mooseburger-munching right-winger at the clean angle of 90degrees (as right-wing as you can get!) On the surface I back B.Obama but we really don't know the machinations of the W. House, the mightily covert powers that run and back the entire machination of sovereign government of the USA.
But, I imagine it is safe here, in the growing, and glowing, warmth of this southern spring.