Today I received some lovely photographs from a young Brisbane-based friend, showing his first picnic of the year with his girlfriend, in what is now early Spring for them.
I'm always fascinated by the fact that, for this brief moment, the climates in my own hometown of Weymouth and Portland and his, in Brisbane, are pretty similar. Soon, of course, the sunshine see-saw starts to tilt . . giving us progressively less sun and Australians, more . . before tilting back again and reaching equilibrium, once more, in 6 months time. Having friends on the other side of the globe gives one a very real experience of how all this stuff works. It's much easier to understand the seasons when you can see the process in-action, globally
Today (Sunday) was a perfect example of an early-autumn day for us; and, being my wife's, birthday, we went on an afternoon walk around the wooded headland in Weymouth called 'The Nothe', with views all-around out to sea. Barely had we begun our walk when a squirrel appeared in the middle of the path . . eager to see what treats we had for it.
By the look of it, it was a pregant female. She sat on the park bench next to my teenage daughter for about 20 mins, as my daughter hand-fed it with brazil nuts, dried coconut & dried banana and raisins. Clear blue skies, not a breath of wind, very hot . . people out sunning themselves on the grass . .and the air fillled with swallows who were, rather unfortunately, snatching the beautiful dragon-flies from the air and gobbling them up . . .as the rich folks raced-about in the bay, in their ultra-expensive motor cruisers . . .whilst the Isle of Portland, in its autumn thrall, lay at-anchor just off-shore. It was the sort of autumn day we can sometimes be blessed with, down in these southern climes.
Of course, in less than two years time these same tranquil waters will be a-buzz with hundreds of yachts, sails billowing in the wind; the hotels and B&B's will be packed with reporters and T.V. crews . . and the roads, no-doubt, will be totally gridlocked - as Weymouth & Portland plays host to the sailing events for the 2012 London Olympics.
Do, by all means, come and visit us during those two hectic weeks in August - it should prove an exciting spectacle! But, if you want to see the real Dorset, set aside a few days to visit the county, out of season. You certainly won't regret it - spring or autumn !