Monday, September 28, 2009

Doubtful Spring

Michele: We are in Spring here in northern Queensland. Even though I rationally know that it is spring, my system truly believes that it is Fall. The Frangipani tree is going gang-busters but this and bird nests are the only tangible evidence of Spring.

One reason that I expect temperatures to start cooling off is that we did not have an abrupt season change when we arrived. Back in early July the temperature of Mission Beach was pretty close to the temperature back in Amherst. Everything was green and warm in Amherst and everything here was green and warm. So it really never did seem like winter. Consequently, my system is confused that temperatures are getting warming rather than cooler now that October is on our door step.

Another reason for my confusion is that it has been very dry here. I spent many years in California and I know that in winter it rains and in summer it is dry. You can immediately tell in California if it is winter or summer by whether the grass is green or yellow. Well everything, even the seasons, are different in Australia. In these tropics, the winters are dry(er) and the summers are wet. In fact the summer season here is called 'The Wet'. The Wet is when meters of rain fall within a couple weeks. The winter is dryer than summer here in the far north but still usually gets rain regularly. This year, we've had very very little rain. The grass here is all dried up and yellow so my California-honed sensibilities tell me that it must indeed be summer.

I'm told that the long dry spell that we are having is very unusual. We are even on water restrictions. Water restrictions in the rain forest! Several times now we've heard Cassowary calls at night around our house. I wonder if the birds are coming into neighborhood because of the dryness of the forests. The birds, like the rest of us, could really use a rain shower. In addition to helping the forest, the rain would wash some of the lingering dust out of the air (from the recent dust storms) and help convince me that it really is spring.

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