Start of Winter: Water begins to freeze

May 10th, 2012
by Jo Law

The first pentad of winter started much drier than the preceeding months. There have been days when the relative humidity dropped to around 50% with the lowest of 35% recorded on May 10th at Bellambi (AWS). The crisp air unmistakably heralds the onset of winter. Statistically speaking the Illawarra winter are the dry months when temperatures, rainfall and relative humidty are at their lowest all year. It is unlikely, however, that water will begin to freeze. … {read on}

Descent of Frost: Insects tuck themselves away

May 5th, 2012
by Hollis Bridgeman Law

The last days of autumn were an assortment of glorious sunny days, rainy periods, and increasingly frosty nights. The Bureau of Meteorology released a temperature outlook for the May to July period that forecasts a warmer winter for souther-eastern Australia. In this way, autumn ended on the fifth day of the fifth month in the Greogorian calendar. In Japan, May 5th is Children’s Day, a national holiday. … {read on}

Crik!!! Let go!!!

May 4th, 2012
by Hollis Bridgeman Law


May 1st, 2012
by Michele Elliot

While Hollis and I made scones and read books in Austinmer on Saturday, an echidna spent several hours down the road in our garden eating insects and sipping out of the birds’ water dish. I wondered whether it was the same one that had visited a few months ago.

Descent of Frost: Leaves turn yellow and fall

April 29th, 2012
by Jo Law

This pentad began on a windy Anzac day public holiday. The maximum wind gust recorded at Bellambi (AWS) was 80km/h at 08.28am. This 5-day period ended with a wet and grey wintery day. Relative humdity on average has fallen slightly but there is still plenty of moisture in the air and we remain ever vigilent against the prescence of ticks in the backyard. During this period, we were finally able to make a push in the garden (thanks to our friend, Michelle, who babysat Hollis for the morning) and started cleaning up areas favoured by the dreaded arachnids. … {read on}

Descent of Frost: Wolf sacrifices beast

April 24th, 2012
by Jo Law

During the first pentad of this last autumnal solar term, intermitten wet weather presisted in the Illawarra. A new moon began on April 22nd. Snow is falling on the Australian Alps. The Japanese version of the almanac tells us that this is the time when ‘wild camellias bloom’. … {read on}

Cold Dew: Chrysanthemums are tinged yellow

April 19th, 2012
by Jo Law

In this pentad, the escarpment was once again shrouded in thick clouds and heavy rain returned. During periods of heavy falls, I could see sheets of water pelting against the window. Wednesday, April 18th topped the monthly highest rainfall so far with 54.4mm recorded at Bellambi. This is followed closely by the 53.8mm recorded on Thursday April 19th. This plentiful rain satisfied the garden although the slowing growth during these shorterning days is evident. The cucumber vines produced their last fruits, the rocquette has grown large and bitter, and the edible chrysanthemums are flowering.  … {read on}

Cold Dew: Sparrows enter the water and turn into clams

April 14th, 2012
by Jo Law

The second pentad of ‘Cold Dew’ began with a cold snap. On Tuesday April 10th Bellambi (AWS) recorded the maximum and miniumum temperatures of 17.1ºC and 9.3ºC repsectively. Two successive cold fronts orignated far south passed through south-eastern Australia bringing the first snow to the mountains in New South Wales’ interior. This sudden dip in air temperature saw cardigans, scarfs, woolens and blankets being brought out of storage – re-aquainting us with the cooler season. This temporary chill gradually gave way to warmer days towards the end of the week. Today was warm enough for a swim in the ocean. Someone, like my mother for example, would regard indulgence in recreational activities, such as swimming, during the period of extreme weather changes as unwise. … {read on}

Cold Dew: Wild geese come as guests

April 9th, 2012
by Jo Law

This solar term marks the sun’s passing through the first 15º on the ecliptic. The fourth month of the Gregorian calendar began with drier days and cooler nights. Four days of this pentad fell on the 2012 Easter holidays. April 6th, 2012 was Good Friday, the start of term 1 school holidays for New South Wales primary and secondary students. The public holidays are followed by a non-teaching break at the University of Wollongong. The 4-day long weekend is the longest consecutive holidays in Australia (when Christmas and Boxing days do not fall on a weekend). Many take this golden opportunity for recreation and travel. … {read on}

Autumnal Equinox: Water dry up

April 5th, 2012
by Jo Law

The Bureau of Meteorology’s announcement of the end of the 2011 – 12 La Niña event may signal: ‘water dry up’, but this pentad began with a tremendous downpour in Austinmer. Lightning flashed over the ocean and thunder roared as I read Hollis his bedtime stories. The thunder claps directly overhead sent the little boy clinging tightly onto me. Daylight saving ended that night, or more precisely in the early morning of Sunday April 1st, at 2am. ‘Turning back the clock’ holds the promise of a sleep-in. Although a small child in the household may prevent such an eventuality, there is always the consolation price of putting forward his bedtime. … {read on}

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