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September Equinox 2011

The Lantana has fed the butterflies throughout the winter.

This lovely plant is beloved by butterflies.
While the honeyeaters feast on the flowers of native trees & shrubs,
the butterflies, with their delicate wings, prefer an open sunny environment.
They also find blue or violet flowers most attractive.

"The Earth is capable of replenishing herself and supplying every living thing with a home and sustenance"
Sarah King

Musings from the RainbowWeb
Spring flowers

Good news! The severely disabled children in the St.Morris Special Unit
of Trinity Gardens Primary School, where my daughter works,
have won the Messenger award for Greenest Classroom in the Eastern suburbs.
Our Permaculture group started the first garden at the School in the 1990s.
Since then there has been a fire, & extensions have been built,
but the school garden has been re-established, and the beds have been raised
so that students from the Special Unit can share the experience of gardening.

Both my daughter & grand-daughter care for severely disabled youngsters,
children who would have been hidden away or institutionalised when I was a child.
Of course there's never enough funding, but those of us who remember how things used to be
are amazed & delighted by what has been achieved.

flowering vine

Last Saturday was my granddaughter's 18th.birthday - she is now legally an adult.
She's my youngest grandchild!
One of the generation that will have to deal with the steadily worsening effects of the
abuse to which we have subjected the Earth,
she is reluctant to enrol to vote.
She's listened to all our arguments for doing so, but the media's skewed reporting,
and the behaviour of politicians of all parties really puts her off.
It's tragic that she, & her peers, should be so disillusioned so young.
I am so tired of the sledging & semantic nit-picking
that passes for politics these days. Aren't you?
Co2 is/is not a pollutant!Purleeze!!!
Apart from the fact that Co2 is polluting & acidifying the oceans,
what does the terminology matter?
The Earth is in crisis,
& it's time we got out of our comfort zones
& accepted that we need to start paying a more realistic price
for the lifestyle most of us enjoy!
We in Australia take for granted amenities that only 60 years ago, & still in many parts of the world,
would be considered luxuries.

As for refugees, I, with my late husband & twin children, together with most 10 Poms,
were economic refugees from the austeries of post-war Britain.
And the boat we travelled in was safe & comfortable.
We came to an Australia already benefiting from the expertise & labour of
thousands of refugees from post-war Europe.

The challenge now is one of scale.
The world is groaning with people who, by being born in the wrong place at the wrong time, cannot improve their lives except by extreme measures.
You could call them queue-jumpers. But look at it another way -
these are people who are prepared to take risks, & who have initiative.
They may well become the leaven in the loaf - the kind of people we need to change our society for the better.


If you're still with me, let's go into the garden................Early in the morning I am awakened by birdsong.
I hear Wattlebirds, Willie Wagtails, New Holland Honeyeaters, Ravens, Kookaburras, Noisy Miners (drat them!), Adelaide Rosellas, various Lorikeets, Peewits, Magpies, & those gloriously musical illegal immigrants, Blackbirds.
Once the sun has risen, the sound of bees can be heard even in the house, feasting on the nectar of Mandarin, Lemon, & Orange blossom. Their fragrance fills the house as soon as I open a door.
Borage, Calendula, Holy Basil, Tilisandra, Iris, & even one shy Chocolate Lily are in bloom, the Salsify is sending up flower stems, & buds are appearing on the Feijoia.
The roses are covered in buds - please dear Goddess, if you send aphis, send ladybirds too!
Although something nasty has happened to the Avocado, I haven't yet given up hope of the tree's eventual recovery. Everything points to poison, since, just as the tree began to flower, all the flowers suddenly died overnight, then the leaves quickly followed. It's a sad sight, & the birds really miss the shelter.
And there won't be any almonds for the birds this year, as the Possums ate all the blossom!
But the tree is already in full leaf, while young leaves have started appearing on the sultana vine, the fig & the Persimmon.

Since the Jerusalem artichokes are already pushing up, I took a chance on the soil temperature, & set out the Sweet Potato slips. And I'm going to try another Choko - not near the house this time!
I'm still finding fallen Macadamia nuts every morning, even though the tree has begun flowering, & Lemons this year are so plentiful I can't give them away.

A small portion of the RiAus Reef ExhibtionThe crocheted reef which I & a number of friends helped to create, exhibited in August & early September was a huge success, so will be on show again during December & January, at the Science Exchange aka RiAus, in Exchange Place.

Balance of the hemispheres

September 24th. is MOVING PLANET DAY. No!we're not going to try moving the Earth -
Moving Planet is a worldwide climate solutions rally, a day to move beyond fossil fuels.
It's also the last screening of Friend's of the Earth's Film Festival, at the Box Factory.
And a reminder that 25th.September is the SA Permaculture Association's quarterly gathering - details in your newsletter

Recently our Sustainable Communities group has been helping to compile a really comprehensive list
of how & where to recycle things, especially those which don't go into kerbside bins.
My personal preference is to find ways of re-using things, recycling being at the end of my list.
You can read some of the weird & wonderful uses I have found for discarded items starting here.
There's 4 pages so far, including one very long one. I'd love to have your contributions.

The Sun crosses the Celestial Equator, from North to South,
at 9.06 GMT on September 23rd. (18.36 Adelaide time)
We call this event an Equinox - latin for 'equal night' -
because the night & the day are of approximately equal length
all over the planet at this time.
Then in the South, the days overtake the nights in length, so for us
it is the Vernal, or Spring Equinox, known as Ostara,
in honour of the Norse goddess of renewal.

Spring flowers

In the Northern hemisphere,
where this is the festival of Mabon,
the harvest is, hopefully, well under way, in spite of
the very windy & changeable weather that usually
accompanies the Equinoctes in both hemispheres.
The days continue to draw in, and
the leaves of deciduous trees begin to change colour.

Autumn Leaves

In the higher latitudes both North & South of the Equator,
gardeners may notice how tropical plants respond to the 12-hour daylength
which around the Equinox corresponds to that which occurs
all year round in the latitudes in which they evolved.
But because of the unpredictable weather, the sudden spurt in growth
means plants need to be carefully protected from wind and frost damage.

See also Seasons and Calendars for more information.

Moon phases

Why observe and celebrate the interactions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun?

The Festivals, Feasts, and Fasts of most human belief systems originated in our observations of this Cosmic Dance and it's effects.
Everything is affected by the changing seasons and the rhythm of the tides.
Why not commit yourself to celebrating in tune with these natural rhythms?
You will benefit physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and it will help you to truly re-earth.

For those who dismiss such practices are mere superstition, consider that:

"We cannot know more than a fraction of what exists. We will always be a minor part of the information system"
Methods of Design - 3.10.3

and that: "Nothing we can observe is regular, partly because we ourselves are imperfect observers.
We tell fortunes, (or lose them) on the writhing of entrails, or cathode ray graphics;
on the scatters of dice or bones, or on arrays of measures.
Are the readings of tea-leaves any less reliable than the projections of pollsters?"
Pattern Understanding - 4.1
from "Permaculture - A Designer's Manual" by Bill Mollison


Seasons and Calendars
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