Another hot and humid day is looming, summer is definitely making her presence felt after several years of wet summers and lower temperatures. In an effort to cool down I am thinking of colder climates and wishing I could click my heels and transport myself and the doggies to the beautiful Lucerne in Switzerland. We were in Lucerne prior to Easter in 2011, the days were lovely and mild allowing us to fully enjoy all the delights that the old town had to offer.
With temperatures being approximately 5-10 degrees (celsius) higher than average for November we’ve had an early start to summer. It is storm season so the potential for rain is good although much of the heavy rain that has fallen already this month has failed to appear over our suburban block. Despite the extreme heat the plants and trees in our garden continue to bloom, the magnolia flowers don’t last long though and my gardenias have all but disappeared, leaving only crispy and brown remnants among the foliage.
Each year I wait for our Poinciana tree to flower, the foliage is beautiful but I have been wanting to see red flowers flooding the tree since seeing how other trees in the neighbourhood look at this time of year. We came close last year however a hail storm shredded everything and we were left with very little of anything on the tree. Poinciana trees in flower scream summer to me, the red blossoms provide spectacular contrast to the garden and it is the perfect colour scheme for the festive season.
Here are just a few of the beautiful things in our garden, I’m so happy that the heat hasn’t destroyed them.
Summer is here with a vengance, it has been a few years since we had consistently hot weather and predictions over the weekend were for a week of temperatures in the high thirties (celsius). Yesterday was hot, air conditioned offices were a blessing and the storm that hit last night a huge relief. We had put up some of the Christmas fairy lights on Sunday afternoon, solar powered of course, and as the rain poured down, I noticed that water pooling on the pavers allowed for a colourful reflection of lights that we stuck in the garden. Tonight there is no such relief, today reached 39 degrees and overnight we’ll only see the temperature drop to about 24 degrees and there is no rain predicted so no more funky, colourful reflections.
Consistent heavy rain has been with us since the end of 2010, at that stage several towns in Queensland were flooded and the rest of the state was wondering where summer had gone. Normally, it is too hot to do anything during a Queensland summer but head to the beach or an air conditioned shopping centre, ice cream melts all over your hand and onto the ground and everywhere you look there are extreme cases of sunburn. This summer has been wet and muggy, heavy cloud cover turns many off the beach and ice creams are eaten in the cool of a shopping centre because its too wet outside to go for a walk, sadly there are still too many sunburned bodies roaming around.
This weekend we have sunshine, the cacophony of bird calls rings in our ears once again and the cicadas, flies and butterflies are out in full force – it is a beautiful thing. The roar of lawn mowers and whipper snippers can also be heard, the grass and weeds that have turned suburban backyards into jungles is being tamed, the scent of fresh cut grass hits my nose and finally it feels like summer.
My heart goes out to people in Ipswich, Brisbane, Grantham and all of the other towns affected by floods. While I sit here, thankful for the sunshine and in the comfort of my own home, many are anticipating another night in an evacuation centre or in someone else’s home because their house is still under water or filled with mud and debris. Family members have been lost, children are orphaned and pets have lost their humans, I can only imagine what they’re going through and even then I’m probably underestimating how traumatic the experience has been. We will help in whatever way we can, it is the least we can do as Australians and as fellow human beings.