January - Astarte & Tom's Earthwise Bush Echoes
January – Astarte & Tom’s Earthwise Bush Echoes
The wheel turns… Cicadas sing…often hot, uncomfortable even, drying hot winds from the North, always the threat of bush fire looms. Here in NSW which is our personal experience, the drought has finally broken, a new years gift this day of 69 mm of rain into Warragamba Dam the most for 2 years! Last night and today we hear the croaking of the frogs, not heard for 2 years now.
We’ve travelled a fair bit the last 2 weeks, from the Northern Beaches of Palm Beach to Red Hill, in the shadow of Mt Horrible in the Great Dividing Range, to the gold mining town of Sofala to the depths of the still and damp Pine Forests near Oberon looking for Mushrooms. We’ve been across the Berowra Ferry, visited the Hieroglyphs in Woy Woy and all the way to Broke to look at the festering sores of open cut coal mining on our precious Earth.
We’ve harvested the fruit of the seasons, indigenous to this land. We have also harvested medicines and magickal herbs. Rescued turtles, seen and fed a wild fox by torch light, seen countless lizards and birds, a goanna, abundant eastern grey kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, wombats, fish, aboriginal engravings, medicine pools and axe grindings.
Yesterday we returned to bush land that had been devastated by fire 2004 on the Central Coast, and we found it alive as if the rains had bought spring itself, I have never seen the bush so alive, and in such abundance of flower, berry and fruit. We feasted on the nectar of mountain devil, Astarte’s favourite Bush Tucker
In much of Australia the desolating effects of the sun are peaking. Bushfires threaten many regions. Brilliant colours of Hibiscus, Lobelia, Frangipani, Crepe Myrtle, Bougainvillea, and Cannas are seen, along with many annuals. Fruit grows heavier on the trees. Harvesting season for wheat approaches. Many gum trees in flower especially the Red Stringybark it is abundant with creamy blossoms on drooping branches. Magpie babies are now seen out on their own, you can spot them by their babyish grey necks. Lorikeets young are squawking for their food, as are some Noisy Minors. The oceans tides are exceptionally low and it’s a great time for exploring rock platforms. Large fish patrol the beaches as many sea creatures wash in, especially toadfish and blue bottles. Young sea birds hatch in burrows and sand-scapes. Butterflies and dragonflies abound. Snakes and lizards bask on the warm rocks. Echidnas are on the move looking for ants nests. Mushrooms appear in pine forests and ghost fungus on logs. Lots of feathers on the ground as birds start moulting. Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon) is flowering.
More humid days ahead this month, look out for winged ants and moths in abundance, watch the birds take off after them! We will have an increase in insects and you will notice many more spiders webs, in the bush and in your backyards, butterflies are emerging and lookout for toadstools after our summer storms, and you will definitely hear the tree frogs song! The red gum is flowering this month as are the dandelions. Seeds appear on the wild fennel, and paspalum grass. Now is the time to harvest the seeds of kangaroo grass for spring time plantings. At the beaches look out for mangrove seeds washing up. Grass trees now drop their spear like flowers, our cute friends the praying mantis and the stick insects will be stopping by your neighbourhood to say hello too, as will the rascally wasp. Make sure you protect your clothes in cupboards at this is when the clothes moth emerge. Our native violets will be in flower, as will our callistemon, and many species of Grevillea. Keep on top of the weeds here in Sydney , as the rain has fed them, and the khaki weed and clover are on the run yet again.
Right now in Australia , we are still in drought, this month could see many bush fires threatening many people, and destroying habitats in the bush and National Parks. Make sure in the next few months you have fresh water available for the birds, and food if needed if fires are near you, keep an eye out for injured wildlife. Please take a moment each day to say a prayer for the planet and everything precious upon it.
Remember for those in the Southern Hemisphere, get outside early and enjoy the great outdoors! Whilst those in the North, watch their ponds freeze over and birds migrate as they prepare for the snow, isn't the balance of the planet awesome!
Both Tom and I wish you all the very best for this New Year, may 2007 be the year of environmental and personal awareness on a planetary level.
The full moon will be on Wednesday the 3rd at 11.57pm in the sign of Cancer, whilst the new moon is on Friday the 19th at 2.01pm it is in the sign of Capricorn
Soil fertility days are –
Most Fertile – 3, 4, 13, 14, 22, 23, 30 & 31
Open Public Events
2nd January Earthwise Full Moon Ritual
21st January Earthwise Witchcraft Course – ongoing
26th January Earthwise Lammas/Lughnasadh/Australia Day Ritual
For more information on these Events
Please contact Astarte on 9623 9963 or 0409 986 095
Wise & Blessed Be
Astarte Earthwise xXx
- Namaste Astarte,I enjoyed your writeup. It brought back many memories for me as this was my life when younger. My mother's family lived in The Blue Mountains and we spent a lot of time there around Lawson when we were younger. Many of the things you mentioned were in our backyards and some here with me today on a much smaller scale. Many was the time mum would take us through the bush pointing out the flora and giving us the nicknames as well for anything we pointed out.How wonderful we had so much rain in the dam. I first heard 22 mm had fallen overnight but haven't caught up with much of the news since then. I'm looking at my flowers and shrubs today and thinking how kind nature has been to them since a better quality soil was replaced in the hanging baskets and the magnolias and the may bushes being moved into semi shelter instead of on the front patio. There is a lot more growth on them and although some of my herbs have died, others are still hanging in there so I've plenty to cook with. Tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce are still being produced in the garden and the corn is slowly coming along as are the potatoes. This year they seem to be doing a lot better and no sign of insects attacking them. One wonders considering they only have hand watering on the days we are allowed to water. Maybe I've been blessed for some reason this year.It's been years since I've been to Oberon but I do get to Berowra every now and then. As for Broke. There is substantial open-cut and underground mining between Broke and Singleton and more expansions are planned from Newcastle upwards. For the time being coal mining is something that won't disappear until we have more alternative methods of producing energy. Personally I'd like to see wind and solar power being used more but it has to come at a cost to us. I sometimes wonder why our government hasn't bothered to harness other methods years ago instead of waiting until we really need other methods.Re the land ravished by fires in 2004 on the Central Coast. I drive up that way every now and then and I've always been amazed at how it has regenerated so well. It looks a lot more healthier now than it was before I think.As for the bottle brush. Although I love my tree and the neighbours as well when they flower, the sulphur crested cockatoos make such a mess of the trees that the concrete is covered with the flowers and has to be swept regularly to avoid tramping it inside the house. They really are little wretches and fight continually when another tries to take over "his/her" spot. The frogs I've had for weeks now. Or one of them. Not sure if it is the same one but it seems to travel from my place around the neighbours as I can still hear it occasionally but I almost missed it at first. I was expecting a green frog but it was grey-ish in colour. Almost trod on it.To you and Tom and to everyone else, may your harvests be abundant. May good health be with you and may we all be more environmentally aware now than we were before.Helgs
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