There is some cause for celebration though. From today the days start getting longer. Granted the temperatures won’t warm up for a while yet but the sun will rise a little earlier and set a little later each day now until December. Before too long the sun will wake me up instead of the alarm clock and there’ll be enough light to see the garden when I get home from work. It is no wonder so many religions have celebrations involving the winter solstice.
The red, green and white of the garden reminds me of Christmas which, as I said, is celebrated during the winter soltice in the Northern Hemisphere. It got me thinking....
When Europeans settled Australia a little over 200 years ago they brought with them their customs and traditions. This included our four seasons as well as celebrations - so that we still associate Yuletide with Christmas.
Our indigenous people who have inhabited Australia for much longer (about 50,000 years longer) have seasonal calendars that are related to this land and the seasonal events that occur here. Tribes from different parts of Australia developed different seasons recognising the diversity across the continent but all relate change of season to recognisable natural events.
Their seasons are based on when certain trees flower or when animals migrate or give birth. Their seasons are also related to our climate and take heed of wet and dry seasons as well as hot and cold.
The Bureau of Meterology has developed a site called Indigenous Weather Knowledge . It currently has seasonal weather calendars developed over thousands of years by a few indigenous communities. They hope to expand on this over time.
Greg Lehman, at Monash University who has undertaken expanding the scope of the Bureau's website, will be talking to indigenous people over the next few years. This is part of what he says on the subject - "The fundamental difference between Western and Aboriginal views of the weather is the holistic approach of the indigenous approach." "Knowledge about weather and seasons is related to everything else you do in your life." "For me one of the biggest problems we have is people don't understand the land and the country. It's important for a sustainable future," "We need to understand that there is a very well developed knowledge of climate in Australia that has been here all the time but that European people have yet to appreciate."
I find it exciting that at least some of this ancient but relevant and important knowledge is becoming available to us all.
..... and since it's Friday as well I am linking to Tootsies Fertiliser Friday. Check out what's happening in gardens from other parts of the world (where it's summer).
Floral Friday Fotos