That first taste of Spring!

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.” 
Percy Bysshe Shelley

I wandered into the garden yesterday afternoon after sitting at my desk too long.

The sky was heavy with bruise-coloured clouds and the wind had a wintery bite.

But the orchard was filled with the fragrance of citrus blossom, and the grass was soft and green underfoot. Patches of clover thronged with the buzz of happy bees.

To my surprise, the mulberry tree had put forth the first of its fruit. Most of the berries were small and green or just tinged with red but there was one plump deep purple berry in their midst. It yielded to my touch and dropped into my hand. From there it was a very short distance to my mouth.

It was sweet and filled with sunshine and happiness. It spoke to me of the promise of renewal.

Rufous managed to find a few ripe-ish berries low down on the tree too.

Last night I went to sleep to the gentle patter of rain on the tin roof. My last thought before sleep was that I hoped the mulberry’s roots drank up all that moisture to fatten its harvest of juicy berries.

Sending blessings and love your way, Nicole ❤ xx

Signs of Spring

gate

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
~ Mark Twain

 

The days are slowly getting longer. Nights are cold, but the days are warm. The sun, at midday, makes you think of watermelon and swimming in the sea.

The first of the jasmine is out. Its fragrant flowers scent the night air.

jasmine

The magnolia is in flower. All day bees buzz in and out of the deep petal bowls, taking their fill of nectar and pollen.

mags

The young calves run together as a cadre. They specialise in wriggling under fences and into the orchard or my vegetable garden. I try to be mad at them, but they are too cute.

Silver

The grass is soft underfoot, flowers are blooming and my lettuce and tomatoes are going mad with the sudden increase in temperature.

toms lettuce

We’re piling windfallen timber for the last of the bonfires before everything dries off and burning is finished until next winter.

pile

I love the sweet fragrant woodsmoke when we set the burn piles alight on a still evening.

bonfire

Everything feels brighter. The birds are chirpy. The plants are budding. Flowers are bursting forth.

It’s good to be alive!

Camelia

Adventures in Toowoomba!

Image from Be A Fun Mum

Image from Be A Fun Mum

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

My darling husband has brought me to Toowoomba for a few days for a ‘romantic getaway’.

Or so the story goes.

If we get to the heart of the matter, Ag Show is on. Yep, that’s right – three days of farm machinery, cattle, chainsaws and ride-on mowers, water tanks, fodder crops, cool organic things, agricultural breakthroughs, solar innovations, sheds, seeds, septic tanks, windmills and other good stuff.

Romantic indeed! 🙂

It doesn’t matter. I love Toowoomba – it’s a gracious old country town with some lovely borrowed concepts from bigger places. The spring flowers are all coming into bloom and the town is looking green, vibrant and so very pretty.

We’ve found a few exceptional coffee places, and last night we ate dinner at a fabulous Turkish restaurant – Sofra’s. It was so good we’re thinking about going back again tonight!

sofra-turkish-cuisine

I have a few things on my shopping list while Ben is clambering over tractors and going misty-eyed over some big impressive piece of machinery. (Get the red one, Ben! I hear that they’re the best.) . I’m on the lookout for some fancy new gumboots, a lightweight rain jacket, a broad-brimmed sun hat, organic soil conditioners, and some speed-feed – a summer fodder crop for my very spoilt moo-cows.

I’m also going to find a little coffee shop today, and have a pot of tea, a toasted sandwich and a piece of cake, in memory of my beloved Nana, who would have celebrated her ninety-ninth birthday today. I’m still missing her enormously, and I know she would have loved being here in Toowoomba with us.

This time last year I celebrated her birthday in another country town, before meeting up with my good friend Carly to celebrate my own birthday.

A year ago I was a one-eyed pirate in congestive heart-failure who could only manage an hour or two of activity between rests due to the intensity of my treatment for late-stage Lyme disease. Walking anywhere much was out of the question. I was too weak. Too sick. How far I have come. And this year Carls is coming to me down at the farm for my birthday. It shall be a cake fiesta!

Anyway, lovelies, I must go. Coffee, and the romance of tractors and cows, awaits. (((HUGS))) xoxo