Monday, 28 November 2016

Changing Seasons

Just a few more days of Spring left, according to the traditional European seasonal calendar, but the weather is already changed here.  Perhaps this November, with its bursts of very hot days in the low to mid 30Cs and its thunderstorms, really reflects a uniquely Australian season (for areas to the south of Brisbane). A season, called Sprummer, that is more in tune with our climate and the behaviour of native plants where we live.

In his book, Sprinter and Sprummer: Australia's Changing Seasons, Dr. Tim Entwisle argues that the traditional four seasons we're all familiar with and that all 'change' with the turning of a calendar page, could be extended to these five seasons:  Sprinter, Sprummer, Summer, Autumn, Winter.  You can read more about his seasonal thoughts here.

I feel Entwisle's 'new' seasons help me to think, in a different way, about what is happening both in my local area, which features much bushland and native plantings, and in my garden. Sprinter, which Entwisle describes as an early Spring in August and September, is when flowers in native bushland and in our gardens burst into flower. I remember the fluffy yellow wattle coming into bloom along the paths where we stroll in the afternoons, a native blossoming Entwisle links to his/our Sprinter season.  

 Wattle in bloom.

Sprummer, a season for October and November, is described as a time of changing weather and a second flush of flowering. As I think of Sprummer now, I think of the the high temperatures we've had, the welcome thunderstorms that have brought rain and the lilly pilly hedge just over our back fence that is now covered in little creamy puff-ball blooms.

Lilly pilly blossoms.

As for the Summer that's on it's way, a four-month season that stretches from December to the end of March according to Entwisle, I distinctly remember last year feeling that Summer would never end. I have that same feeling now too, that Summer will be long and hot here where I live. Perhaps it is that extra month Entwisle added in!

How do you view the seasons where you live now?  What signals changes in the seasons for you? 



  1. This is interesting. I will have to think about it a bit, and see how that applies to our seasons here. We have four very distinct seasons, but there is definitely a blending of them as they shift. At times it feels like Mother Nature isn't quite sure she wants to move on ;)

    1. Hi, Kim. It is an interesting idea and one that seems as though it fits the area in which I live...I'm interested to see if my observations of the seasons over the coming years continue to fit in with the five seasons Entwisle proposes. I think it gets us all thinking about the weather where we live, if and how it's changing and how we mark those seasons as opposed to how the natural world responds to them. Meg:)

  2. It's sure been an unusual season in Northern NSW, very dry for us. I too think we are in for a long hot summer. As I pay more attention to yearly weather patterns, I observed this year that Winter here was quite mild. I wonder if mild Winter's are followed by long hot summers? Only time and observation will tell I suppose.

  3. Winter here, just that little further north, was mild too and we're getting a taste of Summer with temps this coming weekend forecast for the mid 30s. Going to really dry out the garden! Meg:)

  4. I agree that the concept of "spring" doesn't really apply here in the South Burnett (North West of Brisbane), we often have hot dry weather and not much growth until summer rains start. I think it starts at a different time each year too.