autumn adventures

Friday, 21 March 2014

"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living".

David Attenborough, aka The Man

There's something about the change in seasons that resonates with me on a fundamental level: it starts with a deep craving for the change, and follows with excitement and semi-ritualistic basking as the new season announces it's settling in. 

I find the change always brings a kind of a contagious thrill; an invigoration of senses, the welcome return of a suite of simple pleasures, and a promise of new adventures.  

The weekend past delivered on all of the above - heralding our first cool, wet weekend of Autumn after a summer of extreme heat. Those few days, although somewhat burdened by fatigue and responsibilities, were full of small celebrations brought about by the much-awaited physical arrival of the new season.

Friday night brought us a crisp clear night with the neighbourhood's first wood fires tantalizingly drifting smoke on the wind. Ordinarily the kids would go to bed after a later dinner but instead we excitedly donned trackies and jumpers to explore the garden after a few days absence. The kids seemed to pick up on the changes in the air, eagerly investigating the vegie patch, bouncing on the trampoline, and finally lying back on the lawn to yell goodnight to the moon and single star in the emerging night sky.

Saturday morning commenced with our usual [way too] early rise but this time we were treated to a thunder storm rolling through, a fairly rare experience here. We stayed in bed and opened the window wide, peering out to witness a main event of lighting strikes and responding thunder. Enjoying the best seats in the house, we pressed our faces against the screen to inhale the fresh earthy smells and enjoy the cool breeze on our faces. 

Sunday saw us hedge our bets with a moody sky and head out to bike ride in a pine plantation forest about 45 minutes from home. The drive took us along weaving roads and through fresh, vivid countryside characterised by historical towns, large Eucalypts, and paddocks home to horses, cattle and their new calves, sheep, goats and lamas. We passed country flower and egg stands, and bakeries whose reputations precede them. 

Arriving at the forest, the air was distilled with the scents of Eucalyptus, pine and damp earth, and the trees literally sparkled with raindrops as the sun shyly cast rays through the tree tops. Looking around we could see we'd found nature's playground: puddles and mud, fallen logs, sticks, pinecones and forest trails awaited

We unloaded the bikes and were off and away, navigating through Eucalypts, then farmland and finally pine plantations. We spied horses, ducks, drifts of butterflies [seriously!] and lots of kangaroos including the resident mob which my Dad cites have been in the same area for generations.     

The kids and their clothes got thoroughly muddy. Pops had a great stack. The toddler decided he didn't want to be in his bike seat anymore. The five-year old had to be stopped from riding further then sang a chorus of 'I can't do it' for most of the return. The resultant bakery and hot chocolate bribes only just got us back to the car. And then towards the end we hit a down hill section and I still can't stop smiling at the mad grin my daughter wore as she raced fearlessly past me and down the hillside.

The weekend's small seasonal celebrations served as nice reminder of the natural world around us and how soothing it is to tap into that free source of excitement and beauty. In the midst of everything else going on in our lives, it felt really good to be able to slow down and enjoy those moments, to break routines, and to make the effort to venture out to explore the natural world on our doorstep.  

Now I just need to invest in toddler gumboots, more washing powder, a slow cooker and some good Cab Sav and then we'll really be set for Autumn...

Have a lovely season,

No comments:

Post a Comment