Down Under, in Melbourne, Australia, we are in the depths of winter. Despite the chilly temperatures, the sun is often shining when along with Dell, my friend and neighbour, we explore the ‘hood on our regular walks.
With the trees and shrubs no longer donning their summer foliage, we have discovered new delights.
As you can see from the images above, flowers raise their faces to the sunshine, autumn leaves linger, acorns painted by local youngsters are scattered on the nature strip.
We glimpsed a bird bath beneath some bushes, from the street it was a little difficult to spot the mosaic design – the owner invited us to a closer inspection. The house has been sold and the bird bath is moving – what a stroke of luck to take a closer look and to learn the artist is a local.
A cubby house that was just visible through the shrubs a few months ago is now quite noticeable – a staircase to the verandah with a slippery slide on the other side; a bright red bell, a post box and a telephone (its hanging to the left of the front door), a little kitten in the window box and a steering wheel – we have seen the children having loads of fun, driving the cubby to a new make-believe location.
Doesn't it look inviting with its lopsided roof and windows askew?
The winter brings new colour – banksias, flowering gums and the wattle is just starting to bloom. The starkness of denuded trees add an architectural beauty.
We discovered a family of ducks marching proudly on a lawn, some coloured beach boxes in the garden of a local child care centre, Sandringham College announces its entry with mosaic fence posts and the sculpture of the Sandringham Swimmer, by the late Guy Boyd who lived on Sandringham for many years, graces the edge of a local Australian native garden.
Readers are not forgotten - a home with a box of books at the front fence of one home - enticing passers by to Swap Me Read Me.
Our favourite find is the fairy door. Several months ago, we noticed a flash of pink – on closer inspection we came across a tiny pink door, dilapidated and falling off its hinges. A week or so later the door had disappeared altogether and we wondered how the fairies would reach their kingdom.
To our delight, a new door is now in place – a vibrant bright pink now and with an elegant brass hinge and door knob.
As with all fairy tales, there is a happy ending. Did we spot fairy dust or even some fairies? Well certainly in our imaginations.
I wonder about the delights you have discovered in your local area?
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It is not accidental that we have placed my Strolling through Sandringham between the two posts by Anne on The Boyd Dynasty as this area of Melbourne was the home turf which fed the artistic DNA possessed by the Boyd family. Tuesday you met Minnie Boyd and saw some of her works and tomorrow you will learn more about her husband Arthur Merric Boyd.
Below are the Red Bluff Cliffs at Sandringham often admired by Dell and I. Alongside is a painting of the same scene by Arthur Merric Boyd completed in 1923.