THE EARTHWISE WHEEL OF THE YEAR
© Astarte Earthwise 2005
JANUARY – In much of Australia the desolating effects of the sun are peaking. Bushfires threaten many regions. Brilliant colours of Hibiscus, Frangipani, Crepe Myrtle, Bougainvillea, and Cannas are seen, along with many annuals. Fruit grows heavier on the trees. Harvesting season for wheat approaches. Many gum trees in flower. The oceans tides are exceptionally low and it’s a great time for exploring rock platforms. Large fish patrol the beaches as many sea creatures wash in, especially toadfish and blue bottles. Young sea birds hatch in burrows and sand-scapes. Butterflies and dragonflies abound. Snakes and lizards bask on the warm rocks. Echidnas are on the move looking for ants nests. Mushrooms appear in pine forests and ghost fungus on logs. Lots of feathers on the ground as birds start moulting. Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon) is flowering
MOON – Bottlebrush & Feather Moon –
FEBRUARY – In many parts of Australia this is the hottest part of the year. In subtropical areas increased rainfall means the heat gives way to crippling humidity. Many crops are harvested from about this time. The days begin to get shorter.
MOON – Corn Harvest Moon –
MARCH – The worst heat and humidity now passed. Days continue to shorten and temperatures are more moderate. Many plants continue to flourish until the cold of winter arrives. Cassia, Hibiscus, Tibouchina and Roses are still at their best.
MOON – Water Platypus Moon –
APRIL – The sweltering heat and humidity of summer gives way to cooler days, but this land itself is still warm from months of sunlight. Hours of darkness are lengthening. Leaves on the deciduous trees now start to change to yellow, red and orange. Autumn flowers are now at their very best. In the Top End the wet season draws to a close.
MOON – Changing Moon –
MAY – Days are shorter, cooler and crisper with blue skies and softer sunlight. Across northern Australia in particular, temperatures are at their most moderate now. The Top End now enters its dry season. Whales now begin their annual migration to Ningaloo Reef on the west coast. Many varieties of Banksia and Wattle are flowering. In Queensland the Poinsettias begin to bloom. Autumn foliage appears on deciduous trees.
MOON – Dingo Moon
JUNE – Growth slows and soil temperatures drop. Autumn leaves continue and winter flowering begins. Occasional frosts, cold winds and blustery thunderstorms across southern Australia. Across much of southern Australia rainfall will peak. On the east coast, whales start migrating to the Great Barrier Reef. Nights continue to lengthen until Solstice. The quiet time continues as Nature waits and watches
MOON – Earth Wombat Moon
JULY – Now in the depths of winter, it gets dark early and there are frosts and westerly winds. After Solstice there is some snow in parts of southern Australia. Deciduous trees are now bare. In frost free area poinsettias are now flourishing. Winter flowering peaches, the flowering almond and the first of the cherries are beginning to bloom.
MOON – Frost Moon
AUGUST – Snowy areas are still cold, but elsewhere spring is on the way. Days lengthen. The Australian bush becomes yellow with wattle. In southern Australia spring bulbs respond to the warming earth. Magnolias, Camellias, Azaleas bloom. The scent of spring is on the air. Freesias, Jasmine and Boronia all signal the turning of seasons. Many native Australian animals begin their mating rituals.
MOON – Wattle Moon
SEPTEMBER – National Wattle Day is September 1st. Wildflowers bloom across the country. Perfumes of many flowers float on the air, also making this peak hay fever season. Many cities now celebrate with spring flower festivals. Cold winds cease and the days grow longer. Northern Australia may experience a few hot days, but heat is not yet extreme.
MOON – Air Moon
OCTOBER – In cooler parts of the country, spring gardens now reach their peak. Wisteria is in full bloom. The days grow longer and noticeably warmer. In areas prone to bush fires, burning off is underway and rain is already eagerly anticipated. In Queensland and Northern NSW Jacaranda begin flowering, and Grafton holds its Jacaranda Festival.
MOON – Purple Moon
NOVEMBER – With beginnings of summer the days grow hotter and longer and flowers begin fruiting. Jacaranda flowers continue, while in the southern states the Flame Trees put on a spectacular show. Hydrangeas and Agapanthus can also be seen, and Roses fill gardens with scent and colour. The Top End enters its Wet Season, rejuvenating flood plains, waterfalls and plant life.
MOON – Cockatoo Moon
DECEMBER – The days grow longer and hotter. In the north the heat is relentless, the wilting atmosphere of summer begins. Cyclone season is here. In tropics and subtropics the mango season begins. Bush Fires a constant threat along much of the eastern coast. In the south, particularly Tasmania, many wonderful stone frits are now available. Solstice marks the longest day.
MOON – Fire Rainbow Serpent Moon
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