June 18, 2010


We’ve been watching the changing seasons using the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal seasonal calendar and the book Walking With the Seasons in Kakadu, by Diane Lucas, as our guides.  You can see a diagram of the Aboriginal seasonal calendar here.  We are currently in the season of Yegge
This is the dry season, when the wind blows the fires across the land, cleaning away the old grass and fallen branches.
We have noticed …
the weather has become cooler, with gorgeous, clear, sunny days.
smoky skies
lots of fires, both burning off and natural fires(not purposeful burns anyway) causing smoky skies.  You can see kites circling at the edges of the fire waiting to catch insects and other creatures escaping the flames.  They burn off a lot up here.  With the tall dry spear grass (often tall enough to hide an adult) fires spread very quickly if you don’t.  You can read more about fire and the Top End environment in this factsheet.
water lilies cover the floodplains and billabongs
wattle flowers blossom. 
woolly butt trees, andjalen, begin to flower.  I love their bright orange flowers, although at the moment the flowers are only high in the trees.
red-tailed black cockatoos, garnamarr, “feast on the seeds that have fallen from spear grass”

I have now written about all 6 seasons in the Gundjeihmi calendar.  Here are the links to the other seasons …


amandab said...

I wonder, do different regions have different calenders, because we are definitrly not in a dry seasn down here in Melbourne! Will have to go back and read your other posts though, as it sounds like the calender does work for you, and that you can find the beauty of all seasons! :)

Debi said...

What a great way to take notice of the changes in the season. We're just getting started creating a backyard field guide, which I hope we will revisit each season, to compare notes and see how/if things have changed.

Leanne said...

What a great alternative to the usual 4 seasons we tend to focus on. Like Amandab, I'd be interested to know if different regions have different calendars.

CatWay said...

The calendar I have used applies only to North Australia (probably only Central North Australia). Different areas do have other calendars. Using this has been great for us because otherwise the only real distinction is wet or dry (not even summer, autumn, winter, spring). I will see if I can find out any information about other calendars.