LUGHNASADH IN MELBOURNE

Synopsis:

The Melbourne Grove shares its observations of Lughnasadh in Melbourne, Australia.

LUGHNASADH   IN   MELBOURNE

January-February is called the Dry Season on the seven-season calendar while on the six-season calendar it is classified as High Summer until February and then Late Summer until March.

The Skies

Days

Typically the days are hot and humid with lingering twilights.  There is a sense that the lazy days of summer are slipping away and occasionally there is a surprising chill in the mornings.  Thunderstorms are common and with the grasses dried out, fire danger is high.

Nights

The constellation of Orion approaches its zenith and Sirius is at her most brilliant.  Look to the northeast to see Canis Major (the large dog) that contains Sirius, and Canis Minor (the small dog) that contains the slightly fainter star called Procyon just below the Milky Way.  If you follow Orion's belt downward, you will reach the orange-red star, Aldebaran: the Eye of Taurus.  Continuing downward, you will come to the Seven Sisters, almost due north.  The Northern sky hosts the constellations from Pisces in the West, to Leo in the East.  To the south, you can still see the upside down Southern Cross, and also Triangulum Australe nearby. 

Indigenous flora and fauna

Flowering

Tea Trees and Red Flowering Gums look magnificent.  Below them you might be lucky enough to spot some summer orchids such as the Small Tongue Orchid and the Duck Orchids.

Fruiting

Prickly current bush, Apple-berry, White Elderberry and Kangaroo Apples are fruiting.  Sweet Manna can be collected beneath the Manna Gums, and this is edible.

Animals

Platypuses, born in December, become visible during this time.

Birds

Fluffy, grey Currawongs hang about the houses looking for pet food, and the like.  Tiny wrens can be seen in the forest undergrowth in the evenings. Kites prey on mice and locusts. Birds such as the Sittellas are caring for their young, still in their nests.

Reptiles and Insects

Wanderer butterflies and ladybirds grace the gardens.  Gum Emperor Caterpillars appear on gum and peppercorn trees.  Fiddler and Stag Beetles are common, and young Praying Mantises are on the flowers. Mole Crickets are calling in back yards.  Local wasps such as Ichneumon and Braconid inject their eggs into caterpillars.  Jumping Jack ants are a serious concern for people who are allergic to them.  At Lughnasadh it’s wise to watch where you walk and let the snakes know that you are about so they can move out of your way. 

 - compiled by Elkie


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Australia, Lughnasadh, Melbourne,
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