Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beltane & the beginning of summer

Today people in the Northern Hemisphere will be celebrating Halloween (or Samhain, depending on the perspective) and the start of the winter season. Over the past decade or so, and no doubt in part due to the the major influence of American culture on our society, Australians have increasingly began celebrating Halloween on the 31 October each year also.
However, in the Southern Hemisphere the 31 October is the traditional date for Beltane, which marks the beginning of summer. Beltane is a time for optimism, a celebration of flowers, fertility and delight. It was traditionally marked with bonfires and revelry and hope for a good harvest later in the year.
October in South Australia is supposed to be the month of thunderstorms and spring rains, but both have been severely lacking this year. Although there is the possibility of a light sprinkling later this evening, it will probably prove meaningless for the garden as there is no subsoil moisture present.
In the garden the lillies, jonquils and daffodils are dying off as the fabulous daisy perennials are all coming into bloom, whilst the veggie patch has been a bit slow to grow. I've had seedlings in ground now for three weeks but they have had to combat extreme heat, unexpected cold snaps and frosts during that time. It has been a "see saw spring" so I leave the shadecloth on the garden beds now, to protect them from whatever Mother Nature decides to conjure.
It certainly feels like Beltane in the Ranges today: The temperature may reach anywhere up to 39*C (102*F) before day's end. At present it is hovering around 33*C (91*F) and for the most part it has been overcast and completely void of breeze, making the air outside thick and sticky. However, inside our little cottage it is blissfully cool: The stone walls and narrow windows work a treat at keeping out the heat. We've not even had to use the air conditioning.
What is it like at your place today? Does it feel like the season it should?


  1. It's raining in Strathalbyn in the Adelaide Hills on this All Hallows Eve

    1. Oh, lucky you! We didn't end up getting any rain at all! :( Although, the cooler weather is a treat, although I just wish it wasn't quite so blustery...
      Did you get any Trick-or-Treaters? When we lived in the Eastern suburbs of Adelaide a few of the neighbourhood children would try their luck. I'd always forget to buy lollies since spring doesn't feel like Halloween. Halloween is a total non-event up here in the Ranges, though (much to my relief!).

    2. We usually get Trick or Treaters but this year I had a sign on the front door which said 'Sorry We Are Out Of Lollies' :o) Our 2 dogs could see the sign through the glass panel on the front door and barked every so often because they thought someone was at the front door. I showed them several times and let them sniff the sign but they really were not convinced :o)

    3. That sounds like something our Bailey-dog would do! He's always barking at nothing. Think he likes the sound of his own voice. *lol*


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