MidWinter Spring!

Little Gidding

I

T. S. Eliot PortraitMidwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart’s heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable Zero summer?

So T.S. Eliot records his experience of MidWinter Spring in England, in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in Australia MidWinter Spring is a reality indeed as the spring flowers are bursting with new life here, now in early July. What a wonderful climate and vegetation there is around Sydney to support this winter magic. Enjoy!

Saturday morning just after dawn looking from Berowra Heights across to Mount Kuring-gai and down to Crosslands- just above Berowra Waters.

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Heading down towards Jerusalem Bay in the dark half an hour before sunrise on Sunday morning: amazing birdcalls (never heard before):

At Jerusalem Bay just as the sunrise hits the clouds and their reflections in the bay itself. Two wading birds (herons) fossicking through the oyster beds below

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Jerusalem Bay panorama at sunrise

And a close up of the fossicking herons:

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The walk up towards Campbell’s Crater and Taffy’s Rock on the other side of the Bay. Wonderful soldier Angophora planted staunchly across the rock ledge above the track:

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As the light increases some wonderful colours and textures of the sandstone outcrops above the track:

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And then the miracle with early light of seeing the Sydney Boronias making their first magical appearance:

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And here are more scattered throughout the bush on each side of the track:

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Up on the other side of Jerusalem Bay, heading towards Taffy’s Rock the mist lifts and we can see down across the mouths of Cowan Creek and beyond

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A Panorama of the same scene:

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On the way down, with the increased light the number of Spring Wildflowers that are out is astonishing. Here is the very first Eriostoman Australis (Pink Waxflower)

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Here are flowering Darwinia Grandiflora, wonderful red, green and white flowers beginning to cover these hugely expansive bushes all along the main Jerusalem Bay track:

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Sydney Boronias high above the track set against the background of flowering Darwinia Grandiflora:

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Pink Crowea Saligna against a clump of Styphella (cousin to Epacris)

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More Styphella Tubiflora in full flower (only found in the Sydney Region):

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And some amazing bark colours in this old broad leaved Geebung hanging over the downhill track: IMG_4944

And not to miss my very favourite Angophora who must have been here at least two centuries or more before Cook’s landing:

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And look at the amazing colours that this old fellow displays! More impressive than anything Jupiter can throw at us:

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On the way up, back towards Cowan, the Angophoras now in full light are lit with an illuminary red glow:

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Dawn walk finished at 11.30: Wow what a feast of extraordinary impressions.

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