Signs of Spring

This post comes with a soundtrack 🙂

Recorded this morning on the second last day of winter as I rode beside Tallebudgera Creek at West Burleigh Heads. You’ll hear the birdsong of Pied Currawongs, Magpies and Rainbow Lorikeets, cars passing by and a plane buzzing overhead.

Yet still the birds sing on, each in their own voice, telling me there are signs of Spring.

You know, when it’s soon to be Spring. Signposts appear that mark the movement into this new season. The land speaks differently across latitudes and longitudes. But everywhere, it speaks.

The leaves of the Jacaranda trees are beginning to yellow. Soon they’ll drop their lace-like frames to the ground, leaving bare grey limbs, ready for purple blooms. They’ll paint brilliant lilac flourishes on tall limbs, stretching into new skies.

The creek mouth narrows where it meets the sea. Winter sands gather and want to move the Currumbin Creek mouth north, but the man-made rock walls resist its flow. So the creek slowly, slowly closes. Soon the sand dredge will arrive to open it again, sucking, pumping, piping and spitting the sand to a new beach.

The Wattle blossoms with their sweet wintery scent are almost spent.

Azaleas begin to bloom.

People start talking about Christmas.

Birds begin to gather threads for their nests. Sticks, string, leaves. This year we found a Noisy Miner, selecting fibres of purple wool from a garment drying on our verandah.

The chip, chip of the first baby birds sounded this week.

And the pair of Wood Ducks that nest each year in our gardens has returned. One year they nested in a planter box on the balcony above ours. When it came time for the chicks to leave, mother duck quacked early one morning from the concrete driveway below. Quack! Quack! Quack! Ducklings lingered on the edge of the concrete planter box, hesitant, teetering, chirping feverishly. Quack! Quack! Mother Duck called. Then a waterfall of ducklings began the descent, free-falling six metres to the pebble-textured concrete. Momentarily, each duckling lay splayed on the ground, then shook, stood and waddled on new legs towards a new life.

And the birds sing on.

Lively sounds of a new season where life expands into its perfect alignment.

Jacaranda leaves turn yellow preparing for lilac blooms.

Jacaranda leaves turn yellow preparing for lilac blooms.

The post's main photo shows the narrow mouth of Currumbin Creek from a distance. This photo shows up close.

The post’s main photo shows the narrow mouth of Currumbin Creek from a distance. This photo shows the estuary’s narrow mouth from sand level with the man-made rock wall in the background.

Winter wattle from early August bringing its wintery scent to my handlebars.

Winter wattle from early August bringing its wintery scent to my handlebars.

FOOTNOTE: The phrase, “the land speaks” is attributed to Jackie French, Senior Australian of the Year for 2015 and author of a wonderful book entitled Let the Land Speak. It is a wonderful interpretation of how the land itself has shaped Australia’s history and why we must listen to it. The book was published by Harper Collins in 2013.

In her acceptance speech as 2015 Senior Australian of the Year…

“We will change the world and it will be extraordinary.”

19 Comments on “Signs of Spring

  1. Gail, I loved listening to the sound track, looking at the photos and reading your story – making it multi-sensory – all I need now is the smell of the beach…. Now that’s a challenge for you🏄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful words and photos, Gail. The soundtrack was lovely too. It’s another reminder of how different the experience of riding a bike is to driving a car. You can see, hear and smell more of your surroundings at a slower speed and when not inside a metal and glass car cage. Happy springtime to you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so true Jane. I definitely wouldn’t have heard the birdsong by the creek if I’d been whizzing along in a car. On a bike, the senses are alive. There’s less to interrupt the inherent connection we share with the natural environment. I love it!

      Wishing you a beautiful springtime too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Gail Thank you for a lovely start to the day – the sounds and the pictures reflecting the changing of the seasons. The description of the mother and ducklings is beautiful. Jen

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this post, Gail. It reminded me of why I love the Gold Coast so much! The soundtrack was brilliant. I’ve been looking at “Booktrack” and wondering if music would be a distraction to reading but it wasn’t in this case – it added to the experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m happy to know it worked in well Gina. I had contemplated it before I posted, wondering how it would be. Then I thought that each reader can decide if they play it before, during or after reading the post. So plenty of options for everyone.

      And I also remembered how the birds had stopped me in my tracks with their song and felt sure they wanted it shared 🙂

      Have a wonderful day on the GC!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree Gina, the soundtrack was a wonderful complement to the evocative description of Spring on the Gold Coast. What a great idea to include it in this post.

    The ‘lace-like frames’ of the jacaranda tree leaves and the purple blooms that followed brought memories of exam time. I remember being told when I came to Queensland that If you haven’t begun studying by the time the jacaranda blooms you’re in trouble… That was, and probably still is, the accepted wisdom.

    Ahh, Jackie French, such a wise elder who reminds us we all bear responsibility for the ‘web of life’ of which we are a part.

    You have a fine and loving eye for the rhythms of the seasons Gail. Thanks for a great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Robyn 🙂 It’s lovely to share them.

      You’re right about the Jacaranda trees… it stems from when university exams were huddled into the end of the year, before interim assessments became the norm. I received the same advice when I first went to university in Brisbane. It was good advice… planning by nature 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Gail, thanks for a lovely post. That bird sing-song was very lyrical, the currawong call is a particular favorite of mine. Just yesterday I stopped in mid-dog-walk to allow a pair of wood ducks and their 2 ducklings make their steady progress down our very urban street, my heart in my mouth as the cars whizzed by. Other spring signs down our way are the sprays of purple Hardenbergia flowers, and the first pink goblet flowers of the Brachychiton as it loses its leaves. It’s great that you are reporting so beautifully on the how the seasons change and in this way encouraging others to observe the changes too. Cheers, Paula

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Paula. It’s great to hear about the Spring signposts from where you live. Some similar, some different, all changing.

      As for the ducklings… well they’re amazing little creatures – leaping great heights, crossing busy roads! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, you had me at “Soundtrack”. The birds, airplanes and traffic make such a lovely background symphony for reading this beautifully written piece. Thank you , Gail. You’ve added much joy to my morning. Clare

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was such an interesting collection of sounds all in the one small space. Somehow, the airplane and traffic noise made the birdsong even more beautiful.

      Some say we don’t have seasons here in the sub-tropics. The changes are subtle. So it was interesting to reflect on what denotes the turning of winter into spring.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I loved the mention of azaleas, harbingers of springtime in RI. We have a lovely area in our town where one of the university professors planted azaleas for his wife when he first married. He died many years ago at age 100 but his property is open to the public. I have many lovely photos of the Kinney Azalea Property. I use one of them as the header for my blog.Another post waiting to happen.

        Liked by 1 person

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