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A Brisbane Spring

Tuesday, September 04, 2012
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The pink azaleas are quite lovely.
Spring arrived in Brisbane three days ago. Though, for the past two weeks, these blooming beauties have graced our front entryway. Pink azaleas are so lovely!

However, I (Mrs. Speech) am a Michigan gal. And, for me, September means going back to school, enjoying summer's last breath and looking forward to the cooler temperatures and gorgeous foliage Fall brings. I'm having difficulty accepting that September means Spring, the end of winter (Ha! "Winter" - high 40s and low 70s...brrr...puhleeeeze!), hot & humid summer looming on the horizon. Yes, I'd rather be sipping apple cider and sampling donuts at Robinettes back home this time of year.

How long have you lived in Australia? You ask. Five years. And, I don't think I will ever get used to this opposite season phenomenon that happens here. It's just different.

Michigan Winter
See what I mean? This is March in Michigan. Our wedding day, in fact. Snow. Ice. More snow. Lots and lots of snow. We married during a blizzard. Then boarded a plane for Australia's great sunshine state - Queensland. [Fact: Queensland truly is called, "The Sunshine State". It's on the Queensland license plate.] I remember thinking, as we drove to my new home from the airport, "Hey, this looks just like America's great sunshine state - Florida!" [Fact: Florida license plates also boast, "The Sunshine State".] Having lived four years in central Florida, I could appreciate the similarities: lots of sunshine, bird's-of-paradise, jasmine, poinsettia, orchids, palm trees, and many other tropical trees, flowers, birds, and other critters. For a fleeting moment, I did wonder if all those hours on a plane we only circled America and landed back in Orlando. I was drousy from Dramamine. I would have easily believed we were still in America.

Queensland Winter
Spring here brings out the creepy crawlies and the worst in birds. Just last night a St. Andrews Spider surprised me in the bathroom...not a nice surprise. Spiders here are as large as a man's hand. This one was as large as mine. I ran out of the bathroom, grabbed the fly spray, woke up Mr. Speech, screamed and shot off some spray in the general direction of the spider. Unfortunately, the can of spray does not shoot in a straight-line direct stream, so though I managed to coat the contents of the room the spider was in, I doubt I doused the spider at all.

The worst in birds...what did I mean by that? I refer to the Australian Plovers and Magpies. Both are very territorial. Plovers nest in the ground and will fly at you with their talons out to protect their young. Magpies nest in trees. They will swoop at you and flap their broad wings at you or peck at you...very unpleasant. Not the kind of spring birds I grew up with - Robins and their pretty blue eggs don't pose any threat to people.

My northern hemisphere family and friends who are sipping cider, munching donuts, and riding hay wagons - please think of me dodging magpies, running from spiders, and mentally adjusting to summer coming.

Still the pink azaleas are quite lovely.
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