An uncharacteristic drop in temperature and overnight rain transformed the endless vista of the mountains into an intimate landscape with pockets of life rising up from the valley floor.
The Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival is held each year around the winter solstice, and is a community event that brings artists, musicians, drummers, dancers and the wider community together.
The sense of fun amongst people who were gathering for the parade was fantastic, with singers, drummers and a samba group all creating as much noise as possible. The effort people had put into their costumes was tremendous, and I was particularly struck by the drum corp, who managed to keep in character and drum out the beat for everyone to march to.
I took a trip up into the mountains last Sunday, to check up a couple of places for some photography and to get some “shutter therapy”.
As I climbed the mountains, the temperature dropped several degrees, and I ended up at Mount Wilson, as I’d been told the trees were particularly good during Autumn.
Alas, I was a couple of weeks late, and most of the trees were bare, although there were some particularly beautiful Japanese maples that had retained their foliage.
My wife and son are away visiting Mémé during the school holiday, and I have a weekend to myself. Autumn is here, and I wander out into the garden, with the intention of tidying up and catching up with odd jobs.
It is so still, so quiet. Normally, the garden is full of noise and movement. Nola tending to her plants, Cameron chasing his friends around or jumping on the trampoline, the air full of shrieks and laughter.
Today is so still.
Autumn has slowly pushed aside summer. The temperatures are dropping, along with the leaves.
We took a trip up to the Blue Mountains National Gardens at Mount Tomah, which along with the native trees, hosts pockets of European and North American flora. There is something reassuringly familiar about seeing conkers on the ground, and I have flashbacks to my childhood.
When I was a little older than my son, my brother and I would collect conkers, pierce them with a skewer, and thread a length of string through their core, creating an instrument of playground competition. These were great battles when you were seven years of age, which would be settled with one competitor’s dreams ending shattered on the floor, along with his weapon. Your status was entwined with the fate of your conker. Did you have a lowly ‘oner’, or had you vanquished your classmates and reached the heady heights of a ‘fiver’, or more?
These delights await my son, but for now he is content to climb trees.