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The show rolls on

The chocolate lilies that came on strong in Barrm Birrm in November are passing, but hot on their heels is the Tall Fringe-lily, both lilies and at a casual glance, a similar shade and shape. However, up close the fringe lily cannot be mistaken for anything else. A flower as extravagant as the prettiest umbrella at a French Impressionist's garden party.

The show rolls on

The Tall Fringe-lily, Thysanatos tuberosis

The Milk Maids have progressed from flowers to seeds, so are still on the scene in quite a different form. The Blue Pincushion, which started early, seems to have been holding back waiting for warmer weather and is bursting up with intensity on the lower slopes.

And now the Fringe-lily has appeared. In the space of a week, it is blooming slightly higher up the slope than the Chocolate lilies, so that a time lapse photo of the hillside would show a purple wave rolling up from Gap Road.

In amongst the pin cushion, the Common everlastings make up for their lower numbers by staying startlingly yellow, for weeks and weeks, and around the edges of tracks, the Wiry Buttons are setting up their offering. They are making the most of the open ground I think, where the topsoil has washed away.

The long Springtime rolls towards Summer, and now we are in the season of the flowering of the grasses. Buath Gurru, flowering grasses, the mob that lived out towards the Dandenongs called it. Their names for seven seasons seems to have been taken up as true of Melbourne generally, a way for us settlers to get a better handle on weather that never seems to fit the four seasons timeline.

So yes, the Wallaby Grass is indeed beginning to flower in Barrm Birrm, a little late with all this cool weather, but the first bright orange flowers now appearing in the seed heads. But seeds come after flowers, don't they? I am going to have to learn what part does what.

I find myself overwhelmed by the constant shifts in the flowers as the season progresses. No sooner have I fallen in love with one species, the plush fields of Chocolate lily for example, than I begin to notice something new, most recently the Blue pincushion, and become enamored all over again.

I'll have to let go the idea of special-ness, best-ness, and the idea even that there will be a peak to the season, and accept that this place is simply having a good time. Each plant plays out its cycle of flowering, and seeding, green growth and fading of blooms. Each sits in a complex of relations with plants and soil and weather that it knows and responds to, and to which I am not party.

Out walking in it, my science mind might name and classify, but the human animal that I am falls mute, and drops into walking and looking, and into a wondering how, and why, such beauty.

The show rolls on

Blue pincushion with flecks of Fringe-lily

The show rolls on

This, believe it or not, is a kangaroo track, not much frequented, but still there once your eye has grown accustomed to finding them. They offer a way through the grasses and flowers that won't damage them heedlessly.

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