Changing Seasons : November 2018…

November is supposed to be the last month of spring, but summer arrived early this year it came almost a week ago on the back of hot, drying winds, gusting in from the west with dust ladened air from the dust-storms outback. The temperature soared to mid 30’s, 10 degrees above the November average.

A thousand kilometres north of here Central Queensland is consumed by 138 catastrophic wild fires. Consuming thousands of acres and last night a town of 8000 people were told to evacuate immediately. Fire fighters from other states flew in to help the exhausted Queensland fire fighters and with gale force winds whipping the flames to a frenzy they battled all night to save the town of Gracemere.

Residents standing at the police station with huge plumes of smoke in the background.

Thousands of residents were forced to leave Gracemere on Wednesday. Facebook: Gracemere Neighbourhood Watch (photo credit)

The news this morning is that, thankfully, the town is saved and the fire danger is decreasing. But still a threat with over 100 fires still burning.
Meanwhile a thousand kilometres south, in Sydney, the city has been brought to a standstill by cyclonic rains, up to 100mm in an hour causing streets and roads to turn into rivers and Sydney airport closed 2 runways.
Spring is leaving with a real sting to its tail…
But I want to share with you a very special and rare event in our garden. changing seasons (2 of 7)_3000x4000The cycad has flowered. This prehistoric plant that was around when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, has finally flowered. It has been in the garden almost 20 years and has now reached maturity and produced this stunning phallic like creation. Needless to say this is a male plant. changing seasons (1 of 7)_3000x4000
I’m also pleased that the new Grevillea is flowering. “Peaches and Cream”, such a delicate and lovely colour combination. changing seasons (3 of 7)_3399x2636After the rather hit and miss affair with the paper daisies I grew from seed last year, this year I bought seedlings and they are putting on a stunning show, with the bright and cheerful French marigolds at their feet. .changing seasons (4 of 7)_2633x3360changing seasons (5 of 7)_3247x2916
The real sign of the changing season and a sure sign that summer has arrived is the flowering of the exuberant, glowing Poinciana. changing seasons (6 of 7)_4000x3000It has just started flowering and soon the tree will be smothered in a cloak of fiery, red flowers. See all the unopened buds scattered through the leaves? I will put an update photo in a couple of weeks.changing seasons (7 of 7)_4000x3000
Last night we had the air conditioner on, it was a sticky humid evening.
I think it will be a long summer…
I’m sharing this post with Su Leslie of “zimmer bitch” who hosts a monthly challenge “changing seasons” where she invites you to share the changing seasons in your part of the world, or something that says “November” to you. Pop over to see the rules of this monthly challenge.


  1. Very informative post Pauline full of variety and interest.
    A wonderful variety of native plants grow in Australia.
    The Grevillia comes in many beautiful colours and looks delicate but stands the Aussie climate.
    The Staghorn on the Paperbark tree in the Cycad photo show three in one photo.
    To say the Cycad’s flow is phallic like is really a rough description.
    I am sure you can think of something better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve been watching your terrible fires, especially in Paradise that was horrendous. I hope we are not going to have a really bad fire season, though indications are that we will


  2. The weather in the north east of the country is really extreme at present. I hope the fires are bought under control today. The storms in Sydney are very frightening too. I had to go the city this morning and was very thankful we are having much milder weather here in the south.
    How amazing to see a cycad in flower. It looks really spectacular. Your garden looks beautiful though as you say the early flowering does suggest the summer will very hot and humid. Here in the south we are having a very mild spring with lots of heavy cloud. When the sun does come out it packs a real punch though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very scary Jo, but I like to try and stay positive, but I did have a tear in my eye when a bloke was saying how heart breaking it was to leave his animals behind when they had to evacuate

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Our poor Mother Earth, she continues to tell us she needs help! California has devastating wildfires this month, and the Midwest a raging winter storm. We had flooding from sea-rise high tides. Frightening. Anyway, enjoy your summer as we enter winter, I’m envious of your beautifully blooming garden!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Chiming in from east coast, southern portion of the U.S…. Your garden is lovely, Pauline, even that prehistoric symbolic bloom. Down here we’ve got several days of near- and below-freezing followed by several days of 60-to-70’s, then back again. Housing here isn’t built for this kind of cold! Agreeing with everyone who has written ahead of me. Thank you for keeping cheerful amidst all that’s happening to our dear planet. Hope your summer isn’t horribly hot. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lovely to hear from you Del. Those are terrible extremes you are coping with. What sort of winter is “normal” for you? The climate world wide is changing. I’ve noticed the new houses being built around here do not seem to take the heat factor into consideration no eaves or wide verandas so only option is air conditioning. Fortunately we have an old style house and I’m sitting on our lovely wide deck catching every little breeze

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Weather extremes are beginning to be the norm all around the world. It must be devastating to be caught up in such events. Is your cycad the same as the Burrawangs that Meg introduced me to in Eurobodalla region? They are interesting plants. Does this mean your plant will die now that it has flowered?
    Stay safe and stay cool 🙂
    It’s a little bit too cool and wet here for my liking…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure if it will be the same as the ones from down south. Maybe not as these are tropical plants. As soon as I saw the flower I checked if it was the death knell, but no it is just part of its cycle. Hope your winter is not as bad as last year. Our summer is starting off with temperatures way above average. I think they will have to rewrite the averages….

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That smoke looks all too familiar. I can sort of identify with those evacuating, although we did not need to evacuate here. Is the treat of fire something that is normal for that region? When I see pictures of Australia, I sometimes wonder what is there to burn; sort of like parts of the Mojave Desert.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have Huge areas of bush that in a drought year become very volatile. All bush areas can become under threat to fires. I think I would certainly evacuate in those catastrophic conditions The fires are still burning

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eucalyptus is famous for volatility. It got some unjust blame for the Oakland Hills Fire. Although I happen to be very fond of eucalyptus, I would want them removed from urban areas where fire is a concern. Those blue gum trees should not have been left in that region when the homes were built there. Within their native range, they seem to be so separate from each other, as if trying to avoid burning. They do not look like a forest that a forest fire would go through.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad the fires are being contained and they were able to save that town. Unfortunately, Austrailia is a lot like California. Thankfully we’ve had some early rain which helped a lot.

    Your garden is as lovely as ever. Is that brilliant bloom from the prehistoric plant edible? It reminds me of a pineapple. Now that it has produced a flower will it do it every season?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to be near those fires Pauline, our planet is one of dangerous extremes.
    Your garden is full of treasure though and there’s a plant in my garden that looks quite like your cycad!

    Liked by 1 person

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