by Anna Campbell
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun.
How's that for a classy way to start a blog? Kant go wrong with some Keats, kan you?
Actually Keats was talking about a Northern Hemisphere Autumn. Here where I live in subtropical Queensland in Australia, there's not much mist! And the sun well and truly hit maturity when it was pounding down and baking us all through the summer.
We don't get the spectacular change of the seasons here that people in more temperate climates get. There's certainly a shift in temperature but it's hardly drastic. There's a few different plants flowering in the garden and the days get shorter. That's about it.
Nonetheless with the arrival of Autumn, there's a crispness in the air and a freshness to the days that you don't get during our long, hot summer.
I'm not built for the heat, sadly, so I suffer and whine from late November through until early March. All those Northern European ancestors put together a genetic package that is built to withstand Arctic temperatures. So I'm someone who hangs out every year for those first few cool days, especially through February when I feel like the sweltering, sultry weather is never going to end.
Of course, summer isn't all misery and there are things I miss about it before it rolls around again.
One is diving into my swimming pool as a nice break from sweating over my computer. Yes, that is me posing as a bathing beauty, snort! Another is that the wild bearded dragons who live in my garden go into hibernation and I don't see them again until the weather warms up. I love these little guys - it's like having mini dinosaurs hiding in the shrubbery. I miss the long evenings sitting out with my friends under the pergola and looking at the lake. Nothing like a lovely glass of sauvignon blanc and great company and a leisurely summer day.
But all of that finishes pretty much with Easter. I can sometimes squeeze in a week or so of swimming after the big bunny has been, but basically that's the end of summer for us.
But aside from the cooler weather, there are other things I look forward to in Autumn. And not just chocolate eggs!
I love the summer fruits, cherries and peaches and apricots and nectarines and mangoes. But my favorite fruit are the mandarins that kick in late March and hang around for most of the winter. I can eat them by the hundred - and I do. In fact, I turn a nice shade of orange during mandarin season. Well, slight exaggeration, but I bet my innards are orange!
Another thing I love about the cooler weather is that I replace my swimming with nice long walks. It's just too hot, even first thing in the morning, to go far in summer. And there are some pretty places to explore near my house. This is a picture my friend Sharon Archer (who writes wonderful romances for Mills and Boon Medicals) took of the beach five minutes away from me.
All round, I think the cool change will be extremely cool!
And if you'd like something new and fresh to read as the seasons change, why not enter my latest website contest? I'm giving away an advance reader copy of my June release MY RECKLESS SURRENDER. All you have to do is read the excerpt on my books page and tell me the old proverb that the Earl of Ashcroft quotes to Diana Carrick. Here's a clue - it's for the birds! Then email me on email@example.com with your answer. For more details, please check out my contest page. Good luck!
So what's happening with the seasons where you are? I'm off to dive into the pool - feel I should take advantage of it while I can!