Last Friday night, 20th April I received an Aurora Alert. Given that we are surrounded by trees I went out to the closest spot that gave me an unhindered view of the southern horizon. I could only see a smudge by eye, it was drowned out the glow of Melbourne I thought, but on closer inspection it was there on the right hand side of frame, just below the horizon but the distinct trace of the Aurora Australis. With Mt Macedon to the left and the white glow of Woodend in front of the mountain with the white glow in the woodsmoke. Melbourne lights up the whole left hand sky, the orange glow of Gisborne below the dotted trail of the plane but to the right behind the trees the soft glow of the Aurora Australis. Click the image of a larger view.
It has been a long couple of weeks in so many ways, but were are back again. A bit of a catch up this week, so some highlights for the last month to catch you all up.
I really love the Sweet Bursaria, Bursaria spinosa , it brings back childhood memories from the family farm. It flowers here in early autumn most years which is later that in many other areas. I really have no idea why that is, but for the insects it is a great resource. It has lots of fine, needle sharp spines which offer great protection for small birds as a refuge from predators. It is one of those tough native plants that never seems to need water and it seems to love harsh places where other plants struggle. One of my favorites really.
After a really long dry spell we finally had some real rain. It was as if the bush was just hanging on waiting for the moisture. In the end we got 60mm for the rain event. The rains triggered a mayfly emergence, millions of these small insects emerged and in the late afternoons for a few days formed wonderful swirling clouds as they sought out a mate. I find the swirling insect clouds mesmerizing, the way they swirl and twist, dissipate and reform is like an aerial ballet, engaging and relaxing to watch. It is such a short lived event but one I really love to see every season. I hope you also enjoy seeing it as much as I did.
Finally apologies for being offline for a while, we struggled with the technology here for, computers and internet were just not happy, but this all seems to be fixed now so will look forward to getting your weekly updates back on track. So let us know what you think and I will see you again next week with more of my insights on nature.