A seasonal change…

Autumn is an interesting season in Australia.

Apart from temperatures starting to cool – very slightly so far this year, with not a single night below 20C in this part of Queensland – the duration of daylight becomes noticably shorter.

I’m certainly starting to notice it getting darker earlier.

But we don’t tend to get the very obvious visual changes in flora.

You might spot an occasional Liquidambar or sweet gum, but it’s not really a common sight.

In some parts of the northern hemisphere, Autumn (September – November) is marked by the trees changing colour, before losing their leaves completely in Winter.

It’s a beautiful time of year and the colours can be spectacular.

Autumnal treees reflected in water
October in Massachusetts, US. Photo by Ann Lund.

Growing up in the UK, I loved those crisp, cold Autumnal days, with clear blue skies, the trees changing colour and then the crunching sound as you walked on dry leaves that had already fallen.

Interestingly, in many parts of northern Australia, they generally refer to just two seasons – the wet and the dry.

The Yirrganydji people whose traditional lands and waters extend along the coastal plains from Cairns to Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, also refer to two major seasons.

Kurrabana (wet season) spanning November to May, and Kurraminya (dry season) spanning May to November.

But for each they also note some minor seasons:

In the wet – Jawarranyji (storm time) which covers November to January, and Jimburralji (cyclone time) which is January to May.

In the dry – Jinjim (cool time) May to July, Yiwanyji (windy time) July to September, and Wumbulji (hot and humid time) September to November.

Their seasonal calendar also notes so much more about the movement and nesting habits of animals and birds, when it’s a good time to harvest shellfish, when insects emerge, when various plants will be flowering and when to harvest their fruit.

It’s absolutely fascinating!

Perhaps I should start paying a bit more attention to what else is happening in nature at this time of year.

So much more than shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures surely…?

As usual, we just need to stop, look around and notice them.

Heading outside right now…

Enjoy Autumn🙏

Scroll to Top