The Lilac Tree

In deepest darkest winter I often look out of our back windows and try to remember the lilac tree in spring. Now that it is in full bloom, it is most certainly a place of great serenity. A garden, even though it is hard work, is a place to find that peace and tranquility which is often lacking in our busy lives. As school teachers, we find the garden conducive to thoughts and ideas as well as a place of welcoming for our neighbours.

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20121112-211447.jpg The back deck overlooks this great tree.

20121112-211839.jpg We had the great privilege of meeting the woman who planted this stunning specimen. Susan was a nurse with four little children and doing it on her own without any formal horticultural experience. It was her elaborate combination of colours, scents and shapes which we tend. We are then custodians of her vision and her carefully orchestrated plan to create a place of calm.

20121112-212458.jpg I truly believe that we must devote time to nature, admiring each and every change in the garden.

20121112-212833.jpg This afternoon I spent time admiring the lilac tree from beneath its arching branches. It gave me a different perspective from each angle; it engaged all senses – it’s wonderful colour, its delightful distinctive perfume, even the currawong flew in to sing its distinctive song among its flowers!

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20121112-214035.jpg I hope you can find your own place to contemplate, even for a short time, leaving the hectic pace and place, for a moment in a garden, whether it be your own or a communal one. I leave you with today’s warming back deck sunset!

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Tractors, Trains and Automobiles

Our first extra warm day. The country towns which surround us are easily accessible and peaceful. If we were to choose the fourth reason why we live here it would be the close proximity to these regional centres. The weekend saw us off to a Buick car run – we have a 1982 Buick Riviera convertible but others in the club have much older ones, ’38’s and ’39’s!

20121028-213039.jpgThe roof went down to capture the much missed super sunshine. Our neighbour hitched a ride with us as we travelled to Muckleford. It sounds like a strange place and there’s nothing there except for a railway station which hosts steam train rides on weekends. These carriages have seen some sun!

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20121028-213529.jpgTractor Pulls are a fascinating pastime. Some of these managed to pull their loads for nearly 80 metres!

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20121028-214726.jpgNow I don’t know much about tractors but I do appreciate their raw power and earthiness. You can tell it’s nearing summer when the flies begin to descend on your lunch – salad nicoise – tuna, egg, cos lettuce and potato with extra virgin oil, grain mustard and apple cider vinegar! All this in a far away place away from shops and restaurants. At this point a horse and cart and its passengers meandered amidst the cars and trains and I wondered where I was! And there goes that steam train!
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The Backyard Deck

The great Australian bush property or indeed city dwelling is incomplete without a deck. For us, our deck serves many purposes. It is an extra “room” where we can stop and sit under the shade of a leafy tree, enjoy the company of our neighbours and friends, observe the birdlife and even dry our clothes. This is the third reason reason why we live here: the opportunity to share our unique setting with others.

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20121028-194909.jpg Over the years, the deck has hosted Christmas lunches, friendly afternoon teas and smokey barbecues. It looks down over the bush setting of eucalyptus trees, the chicken house, the bird bath and the weeping cherry. Ever afternoon casts a different atmospheric effect. Here is today’s view.

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20121028-195602.jpg The colorful bird is called a king parrot: orange chest and green feathered back. Do you have a deck, verandah or patio?