Here in south east Queensland, when we were supposed to be enjoying the beautiful unfurling of spring - with her gentle blossoming of new growth, increasing light and longer days. We had instead, summer violently thrust herself upon us. Experiencing 40 degree days and sweltering heat when the only thing left to do was retreat.
Which got me to thinking about our seasons. It has always seemed strange to me that we should follow the calendar version of the seasons, adopted by our northern hemisphere friends. Just flipping the seasons to fit the southern hemisphere still doesn't quite fit. Here in Australia the seasons can vary dramatically from state to state, region to region. And it makes so much more sense to be taking our lead from the plants and animals, which seem to have a much greater understanding of the unique and delicate changes in temperature and the earths cycles then we do.
The indigenous people of Australia have their own sets of seasons that align with the subtle changes that occur in plant growth, hunting times, dry periods, wet periods, heat, cold, etc. Some tribes and areas have up to 7 seasons a year.
The CSIRO have published a book by Professor Tim Entwisle called 'Sprinter and Sprummer: Australia's Changing Seasons'.
In it Tim invites Australians to switch from four to five seasons and to rename and redate them: instead of a neat division of three months a season Entwisle says our seasons should match our climate and what's happening with our plants and animals. His would be:
Sprinter, the early spring: August, September
With the way the climate is changing, and all the crazy weather patterns, it makes sense to me to listen more to the land. To do what we can to work with the seasons nature provides, not following an outdated borrowed one.
For now though, we do what we can here, to retreat from the heat. x