How I miss the tropics!
A polar bear cub said to his mother: “I don’t think I am a polar bear. I may be a brown bear”. Mama polar bear replied: “Don’t be silly, you are white and eat fish. Definitely a polar bear”. The youngster said to his father: “I don’t think I am a polar bear. I may be a panda bear”. Father polar bear said: “Look at the snow and ice. You are a polar bear”. Finally the young cub asked his grandfather: “Am I really a polar bear? I think I am a koala bear”. The wise old bear thoughtfully gazed into the distance: “Look, there is the Arctic Circle, and here is an igloo full of Eskimos. You are a polar bear. But why do you think you are not a polar bear?”
“I’m fffffffucking cccccold”, answers the little bear.
I’ve lived in northern Australia for more than thirty years. Winter used to bring cool mornings of 18 degrees Celsius and pleasant afternoons with 28 degrees. Now wife’s work commitments mean an extended sojourn for us in the Upper Hunter Valley. It freezes here!
Even though we celebrated (mourned) the winter solstice last week, there are signs that one day it will be spring again. This ewe and her babies were not too happy to have their photo taken. “No photos without my agent”, she bleated while stamping her feet.
At school I learnt that 10,000 years ago my birthplace in northern Europe was covered by ice. Fortunately my ancestors the Batavians and Canninefates burnt plenty of peat to keep warm, and global warming ensued. My home country is now a liveable and lovely place, thanks to their foresight and ecological wisdom. It would have been an unthinkable disaster if they had stopped climate change!
Many trees around Muswellbrook are species imported from northern Europe. At this time of year they shed their leaves and sleep until spring wakes them from their slumbers. Not so the Australian native trees. Nothing like a good frost to go and show off a riot of colour!
I wish I could do that.