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Winter Delights

By Maureen Cooper, Wooragee Landcare

For 65 years of my life I lived in tropical North Queensland and, while I loved living there, I was always sick with infected sinuses.  I have been living in Woolshed Valley, N.E. Victoria, now for 5 years and my health has improved immensely.  In that time I haven’t had one sinus infection, due mainly to the fact that the summers are usually dry and rain comes in winter down here so I don’t have to breathe all that humidity and the mould spores that you get in Summer in the tropics.

My life has vastly changed in the last 5 years but it is good to challenge ones-self with what life throws at you so here are a few of the little things that I love about living down here.

  1. Cobwebs beaded with frozen water droplets and the fairyland tableau of the sun sparkling on frozen grass stems.Moss and lichen that comes to life after rain.
  2. Dead leaves edged with a filigree of ice.
  3. Cold air on my face when walking in winter.
  4. Thick fogs on winter mornings and the crunch of frost underfoot.
  5. The reverberating thunder around the ridges in my valley after the lightning strikes.
  6. Hot chestnuts in front of my wood fire. The only connection I had in Nth Qld. with chestnuts was with cans of pureed chestnuts which I used for stuffing in turkeys.  It is delicious.  Instead of breadcrumbs you just add pureed chestnuts and some dried cranberries to a turkey stuffing recipe.
  7. The miracle of my little birds (finches, wrens etc.) that fluff themselves up and survive the freezing temperatures and the call of the Pied Currawongs that seem to echo across the valley.
  8. The crisp, clear sunny days when we get them.
  9. The seasonal fruit and vegetables such as persimmons, swedes, parsnips.
  10. The fallen leaves from my 3 deciduous trees which my hens love to scratch amongst. I can’t possibly rake them up and spoil their fun.  It is a pleasure to watch them gloating over some tasty morsel that they have scratched up.

How could anyone not love winter, with its promise that soon it will be Spring with another list of little miracles to look forward to.