The View That Tells Many Stories

This is the view from our home in beautiful Blewitt Springs near McLaren Vale, just 45 minutes south of Adelaide. I love this photo because I think it tells many stories about our precious environment.

Let's start in the foreground. The plants in our garden. What we plant in our South Australian gardens is so important. I am fortunate that many of the plants the former owners planted don't need much water. This is both handy for my low maintenance approach to gardening, but to also limit our water use. We rely on rainwater here but water use is something our whole population needs to be aware of. I have been trying to learn about revegetation and have an ambition to one day have the property full of plants native to this exact location, specifically Pink Gum Woodland. But that's a big goal and something I'm having to work on long term.

Working up the picture. The bench. Our natural environment is a place of solitude. We need time in nature for positive mental health. Since living here I've become an avid bird fan, spending many hours obsessing over many different bird species. From the tiny Fairy Wrens and Yellow Thumped Thornbills at ground level, to the pairs of Wedged-Tailed Eagles soaring high above, there are birds everywhere. How does what we do as humans affect their worlds?

The rainbow in the photo not only gives hope of pots of gold, but is a visual outcome of sunshine and rain. Our climate is changing. The seasons don't seem to be as clear cut as they use to be. Observing the weather is important for us all to do so that we can adapt our lifestyles around it.

The tree in the photo isn't a native to Australia. I know this is not ideal as it doesn't at all align with my ambition to revegetate our property to Pink Gum Woodland! But this tree provides beautiful shade to our house in summer then loses its leaves to allow the warmth of the winter sun shine through. Passive house design is something we are passionate about and is again something we are keen to adopt in the future. We all play our part in both protecting the environment, but also working with it to live comfortably.

Moving up the picture again, the paddock may look lush and green. But apart from minimal sightings of native grasses, it's full of weeds! The average person doesn't know this so our education about invasive species is so important.

In this paddock though, we get a healthy Rain Moth population each year. I'm told this is a good thing!

Moving up the picture, the neighbouring paddock is used for livestock. We enjoy that the resident sheep keep the grass low (tall grasses pose a serious bushfire threat) and lambing season is very cute. However, what's the impact of agriculture on our environment? How can we limit its impact by practicing Sustainable Agriculture? These are important questions.

In the very distance, whilst not clear on this photo, is the horizon. Rising sea levels don't affect us at this distance but figuratively speaking, it's in our line of sight and something we must all also be thinking about, given so many of our population live along the coast line.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my little piece of paradise and its connections to the bigger landscape.

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