…comes in many forms. Sleep-warmed, fluffy bedclothes in the early hours of the morning. Cuddly woollen jumpers and quilted coats. A roaring log fire. And, just occasionally, balmy afternoons bathed in crisp winter sunlight.
Today was a sunny winter’s day, just perfect for a walk around the bush and collecting kindling for the roaring log fire. We were down below the lower dam, tidying up some dead trees and filling the landrover’s tray with all the small branches and twigs that had been left behind after Matt took out a couple of long departed black wattles and a brittle gum a couple of weeks ago.
We were taking it pretty easy… enjoying the sunshine through the trees and allowing ourselves to be distracted by signs of wildlife in the area or birds of various varieties flitting through the branches.
“What’s that one?” I’d ask, and we’d start discussing the possibilities. I’m not sure we reached any certain consensus, but there was this little brown one, then there was a slightly larger brown one with a fan tail.
Next time I’m taking my field guide in my pocket.
Anyway, birds aside, we filled the tray pretty quickly and went for a wander further down the hill to see what else might need to be tidied up next time we had a nice day. I think we were still being easily distracted. We did find some more wood to collect, but we found a few other things, too.
We found some wombat scats, carefully placed on top of an old fallen tree, and I wondered if they belonged to the dark haired young wombat that had been meandering up the track the other day when I arrived home so late, but we decided that, no, these were too big for a young wombat and they probably belonged to the old, cranky fellow that is slowly spiralling in on us.
We know he is there. He was a rescue wombat that was released on the property years ago and used to be quite friendly with the previous owners. But we aren’t his family, so he moved out and on. Signs are, though, that he has been slowly moving back over the time we have been here. We never see him, but he leaves his cube shaped calling cards on rocks and logs all over the place (wombats do this, I don’t know if there is anybody who can tell you why, but it is a well known wombat trait) in an ever decreasing circle around the house. This is the closest to the house that we have found evidence of his nightly traverses, yet. It is quite exciting. Maybe he’s forgiving us for moving in on his territory and we’ll start to catch glimpses of him soon? Or maybe he is just creeping up on us, ready to wreak wombat revenge…
We found a hollow tree with a perfect hole for a parrot or an owl. (We have several types of owl that come visiting, catching moths attracted by the house lights – no success with taking pictures yet, though).
We found some little plants with winter flowers (need to find out what they are, too… I’ll be carting a library round with me soon!)
We found a lovely open clearing with a beautiful view down into the Valley. The shadows were starting to lengthen out by now, but this little clearing was a haven of golden sunshine.
Needless to say, not only had I left my library on the shelves in the house, but I had come out without my camera (or my phone – it takes pretty good pictures, if only I’d had that in my pocket). The picture above is from the back garden after we got back to the house.
The daylight is gone now, we are back inside, and the fire is lit for the evening. I can hear it crackling in the grate…
…must be just about time for a nice warming cuppa.
Winter warmth comes in many forms.