Spring 2009

Spring is in the air and I have been out doing some serious bush-walking in and around where I live. A few days ago I plunged down to the base of Lyre-Bird Gully behind my place and caught the morning mist rising off the confluence of fresh water and sea down near Berowra waters.

This is a place where some morning I have seen schools of mullet, flashing in the sunlight, pushing their way up the creek to the place where the cold fresh water enters the salt. They must love this mix of environments, they swirl around in seeming ecstasy.
On the ridge tops the spring flowers of Kuring-gai chase are in full stride. Boronias are crowding in the rocky gullies

and on the ridge tops are the wattles and the amazing wax flowers (Eriostomon Australis).

The tall white candle-like flower here in front of the Boronia is the Woolsia Pungens… and it does have a powerful pungent scent. I can recommend getting out into the bush right now. The wild flowers are really starting to kick in and the boronias are here today, but in 3 weeks they will be largely gone!

And now for literature: back to teaching this week, plunging up to my neck in Australian Literature, especially into the shifting attitudes to the landscape from the times of early settlement up until today…. Darwin’s horror stories of the desolate bush and Mitchell’s stories of an uninhabited land, ready for the reception of civilization and its ploughs! But on the heels of this Lawrence, Judith Wright, David Malouf, and Margaret Preston with their very different impression of what is of real worth in the landscape.
Along with Australian Literature there is my old friend Billy Blake. He is the writer/ artist beyond all others who is deeply concerned to make us see in a new way, to make us experience the world with more depth and understanding than we have hitherto thought possible. I always love this journey through his works and the exploration of the links between his journey and what was/ is taking place in Australia- a land, radical in its origins, prepared – I believe- to listen to some of the more radical, innovative insights of this eccentric genius.
So the journey begins again. I look forward to here sharing my passions for literature and for life (and the interconnections)…

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