First visable frosty breath
In the land where I live in the Southern Hemisphere, it is March, which is the first month of Autumn in the seasonal calendar of the Western overculture.
This morning, when I was out to greet the dawn, I observed the first frosty breath of the season.
It was 10°C (for my USA friends, that’s 50°F).
Not cold, especially for me with my new medication warmed body that I am still adjusting to.
But cold enough to have a visable plume of frosty breath.
Prayers to the Morning
In the morning, everything is new.
The day’s blank slate lies before me,
Ready for my writing.
May it be words of beauty I write.
May it be deeds of grace I do.
May it be thoughts of joy I think.
All the Holy Ones, listen:
This is what I pray.
A Book of Pagan Prayer
Late Summer, February – Mid March.
After the dry hot summer, the Autumn rains arrived and the days became cooler. People started burning those parts of the land where the scrub or tussock grass had become too dense during the summer, but they were advised by their elders where and when to burn, taking the weather into account so that the fires did not spread too far. It was important to clear the undergrowth and provide fertilising ash so that the small tuberous food plants could grow well after the rains came in March. Burning also made it easier to catch animals. Plants which had suffered from lack of water during the summer were now able to renew growth.
DJAAK, Wattle gum, was plentiful, and in the middle of this month the WARRAK Banksia or Honeysuckle, Long-leaf Box and Silver-leaf Stringybark came into blossom, providing sweet nectar, and attracting birds.
March has been called the Eel Season, because the female Short-finned eels were moving down the streams to the sea; the male eels had been leaving in smaller numbers during the spring and summer. These were an important food, and among the vegetables there were the starchy roots of the water plants, which began to die down after their summer growth.
Some late summer fruits such as mistletoe berries were also available. Birds started to flock before heading north for the winter, to be replaced by other birds which will soon start to arrive from Tasmania.
‘Eel Harvest and Inter-Clan Business Season’ was the second season and it occupied the third lunar month from
February 16 to March 15. This was a time when mature eels began migrating downstream to make their way to the Coral Sea to breed. Being much smaller than the females the male eels begin migrating a fortnight earlier. The males are not hunted, but messages are sent out that the harvest will begin in two weeks. Many people from other clans therefore visited during this period of feasting, so this was when matters of trade, justice and environmental management were decided.
The fourth lunar month from March 16 to April 12 is a time of late summer electrical storms and heavy downpours. It was therefore an indoors time when pelts accumulated from the previous season of feasting are turned into rugs and cloaks. This was therefore the ‘Thunderstorm and Rug Making Season’ and it ends with the first morning dew.
Although rainfall in Melbourne is quite even across the 12 months except for double the normal in October, the 13 lunar month calendar reveals a rain shadow period in the fifth lunar month from April 13 to May 10. That is, most of the rain in April falls in the first half of the month, whilst most of the rain in May falls in the second half. This then is the ‘Morning Mist and Burning-off Season’. It was a time of burning off in many areas of Australia, but particularly southern and eastern Australia.
This previous Thursday morning, between 0830 and 0930 where I live, we were treated to a massive thunderstorm: thunder, lightning, and a torrential downpour.
I always enjoy thunderstorms (provided I am not caught out in them).