Rain Water: Wild geese head north

September 1st, 2012
by Jo Law

In this pentad, the meteorological reckoning of season marked its first day of spring. And we have come to the last entry of the Illustrated Almanac. Since we embarked on this journey in September, 2011, we have completed 1 revolution around the sun covering some 940 million kilometres. The sun is once again at 150º on our imaginary ecliptic; it climbs higher every day and will do so until June 21st, 2013. In the meantime, the day continues to lengthen. In just a little more than a month, on October 7th, 2012, daylight saving will begin in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Hollis’ new bathers arrived in the post and I find myself thinking about summer clothes and cotton yarn.

In this pentad when ‘wild geese head north’ in ancient China, the waratah in our front yard begins to flower. On the verge, two large flower spikes adorn a small banksia. The camellias are still in bloom and buds are already forming on the christmas trees. The jasmine vine on the back neighbouring fence is heavy with flower and their sweet pungent scent saturates the surrounding air. Trees that lost their leaves in winter: the white cedar, the almond, and the mulberry trees, are already fully flushed with new leaves, blossoms and flower buds.

On the last day of August, Casey (AWS) in Antarctica recorded its monthly highest maximum of -1.9ºC. On the same day, Hong Kong Observatory measured a maximum air temperature of 30.9ºC, a humidity of 78 – 96% and a rainfall of 20.4mm. It is cloudy in Tokyo today with a daytime maximum of 31ºC and the chance of rain between 6pm and mid-night is 40%.

In the past calendar year, we made much of the astronomical, meteorological, anthropological, historical, geographical, cultural, horticultural, environmental, and ecological every 5 days (sometimes 6). Each month we explored an aspect of our relationship with our climate in particular and with our world in general. In completing one year of observations and speculations, the Illustrated Almanac is moving onto the next phase, where twelve prints (one for each month) will be produced using the compiled information. The poster for October has already been printed with the rest to follow in the coming year. These prints will be available for viewing on this site.

Thank you to all the authors, contributors, tweet-ers, comment-ers, and readers. Thank you for your participation. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

(For those who want more, you may be interested in reading my essay, ‘The almanac projects: seasons experienced through the material world‘, written for Transformations‘ issue, ‘Rethinking the Seasons: New Approaches to Nature’.)

3 Responses to “Rain Water: Wild geese head north”

  1. 1 David Havercroft
    September 2nd, 2012 at 17:35

    Here in Central Australia (Mparntwe – Alice Springs) I read that we have that we have just entered ulpulpe – it is when plants are expected to flower and seeds are expected to grow, even if we haven’t had more than a drop or two of rain for four months. In a month’s time we’ll be in uterne urle – the early hot season…

    Thank you Jo. I truly appreciate the calmness that your almanac beckons for momentsin time. David

  2. 2 Mike
    September 2nd, 2012 at 18:04

    Thank you Jo, for the consistent records compiled and observations made; I have enjoyed particularly the lead given in the Almanac through ancient Eastern customs and believes associated with such observations. Such an approach has given breadth and substance to belief systems based on location and enthnicity. (I can recommend Ross Gibson’s new book as an extended discourse on such thoughts.)
    The tendency in Australia to reduce the seasons to a date and the weather to a set of 5-day weather forecasts, impoverishes the meaning of the natural world and our responsibilities with and for it…… I have been busy this year in a campaign to prevent a group of self-serving councillors convert the Bomaderry Regional Park and remarkable nature reserve into housing development lots; the methods they have used to win the support of the electorate have been quite scandalous – next weekend we hope to vote them out!

  3. 3 michele
    September 2nd, 2012 at 18:29

    Congratulations Jo on a truly wonderful project. I’ve really enjoyed being taken on this poetic journey …. thank you!