Yesterday was the first day of spring. The sky was a perfect shade of blue, the sun was shining, and there was just a little breeze. It was the perfect start to a new season. I am so glad to see the back of winter, even though this winter has been unseasonably warm. When we moved to Toowoomba, just over two years ago, it was the middle of winter. That first week was absolutely freezing. One of the first things we did, was go out and buy electric blankets. I haven’t needed an electric blanket since I left Adelaide, twenty-one years ago. Technically, the Australian winter is June to August, but down south, winter can be much longer than that, beginning well before June and lasting well into spring. I can remember wearing so many layers of clothing that I felt like a waddling penguin. Queensland is different though. Winter in Toowoomba can be quite cold but at least it is short.
When we first moved to Queensland from South Australia, the constancy of the warmer seasons was quite apparent. Down south we could have heat waves with temperatures over 40°C for up to five days straight. But then a cool change would come in from the ocean and the temperature could drop dramatically overnight. It’s not like that here. There are small fluctuations but generally the weather is fairly constant. It is definitely the land of the long hot summer.
The beginning of spring always seems to give a new burst on life. It’s the time to get outside, go for a walk, get active and shake off the winter blues. In Toowoomba it is almost time for the Carnival of Flowers. The city’s parks and gardens are a hive of activity, getting the floral displays ready for the influx of visitors.
Sadly, we don’t have much of a garden. Living in a rented house, we’re not exactly allowed to dig up the yard and plant stuff, but we do have a lovely little patio at the back which we have been busy filling up with pots of herbs, veggies and flowers. It’s surprising how many plants can grow quite well in a pot. The cherry tomatoes and strawberries are already flowering and I can imagine there will be an argument over who gets to taste the first strawberry.
As the weather warms up, we are looking forward to getting outside, spending warm evenings on the patio, with a cool drink and some nibbles, and watch the sun set in the west. Spring at last. Hooray!