My time, your time, springtime!

This week at the Carrot Ranch Charli Mills has challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a snapshot of spring.

 

At the moment approximately 90% of the world’s population are experiencing the season of spring. The rest of us, the 10% who live in the Southern Hemisphere are entering the cooler months. How those seasons are experienced varies from place to place. I have never experienced an autumn that would fit the description of ‘fall’; nor have I experienced a winter with snow. Those concepts are foreign to me. That is not to say that some living in the southern states of Australia haven’t experienced them. It all depends where one lives.

The Australian Government describes Australia as having two main seasonal patterns in six different climatic zones. The Indigenous Peoples of Australia describe the changes as holistic changes in nature and life. In Australia, attitudes to and understanding of the seasons are as diverse as the experiences. While the weather doesn’t always know it, spring is marked on the Australian calendar from September to November. It doesn’t matter to which part of the country you travel, there is always something to see and do in spring.

Springtime in Tasmania 2014

Springtime in Tasmania 2014

Part of the daily routine in an early childhood classroom is observing and discussing the daily and seasonal changes in the weather. Each day the children observe the weather and discuss how it may influence their clothing and activities and the impact that changes may have to their local environment and other things including animals.

Many classrooms have a calendar prominently displayed on which the children’s observations can be recorded and compared. Children are often invited to draw symbols and write words such as those shown here.

weather symbols

Discussions about how warm or how cool it is may also occur, though in some parts there is never really what could be called ‘cold’, just ‘cooler’.

temperature chart

 

Reading stories was always an integral part of my classroom practice and I needed little excuse to read another. When the seasons changed I was always looking for suitable books to read and the first I thought of at springtime was Wake Up Bear by Lynley Dodd, a New Zealander.

Wake up bear

While we don’t have bears in Australia, just these cute koalas often incorrectly called bears;

or hibernating animals, except for this cute little mountain pygmy-possum;

Wake Up Bear is a delightful story to herald spring. In the story, bear has slept all through winter, but when spring arrives he is not quite ready to wake up. The animals each try to wake him up and finally they succeed.

While it was not Dodd’s intention with the story, it made me think about children learning in their own time, “waking up” when they are ready. Sometimes they need to be shown something just once. Sometimes they need a great deal of exposure and support to “get” it. Sometimes it’s better to leave them alone until the time is right. There have been previous discussions about this here my blog, including In their own time and Not Yet.

I thought Charli’s spring challenge was perhaps another opportunity for talking about individual differences and the need to respect a learner’s journey. I’ve gone back to my early childhood roots. I hope you enjoy it.

 

Springtime in Tasmania 2014

Springtime in Tasmania 2014

 Spring

Bees buzz

Wildflowers bloom

Cockatoos squawk

“Gone is the gloom!”

 

Mother duck waits

For her babies to hatch.

Here they come now

The first of the batch

 

So cute and cuddly

All covered in fluff

Eager and ready

To show off their stuff

 

“Patience!“ quacks mother

“There’s no need to rush.”

“One more is coming.

Stand back. Please don’t crush.”

 

With one final crack

Last one’s out of his shell

“I’m proud of you babies.

You’ve all done so well.”

 

Mother duck smiles

As they waddle in line

She knows that each duckling’s

Own time will be fine.

Thank you

Thank you for reading.

Springtime in Tasmania 2014

Springtime in Tasmania 2014

Happy spring to most of you! For the others: enjoy the cooler respite from the relentless heat!

 

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thought about any aspect of this post or flash fiction.

43 thoughts on “My time, your time, springtime!

  1. Sacha Black

    Definitely got a bit confused when I read spring is sept to November! And then I remembered were opposites! My best friend lives in oz now and the concept of a hot Christmas Day still weirds me out a bit!

    Gorgeous poem 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      That’s right. We have a hot Christmas Day, but most of our traditions, decorations and cards still follow those of the N. Hemisphere. I guess what can we expect when we are only 10% of the population!

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  2. Sarah Brentyn

    So much has been said about your poem and the cuteness of the possum (though I thought the koala was adorable, too). My bad for being late to the party. I think I have another post or two to comment on here. Also, the 10% / 90%. I had no idea. I would have guessed a bit higher on the 10% population. Anyway, great post. And I believe you are one of the very few at Carrot Ranch to write a sweet, spring flash this week! 😉

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    Reply
      1. Norah Post author

        Thank you for your warm encouragement, Sarah. I’ll give it some thought. I do think it needs more work to be publication ready (beyond a flash fiction response, that is). 🙂

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        Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your comment and encouragement, Sarah. I agree the koala is very cute, as is the mountain pygmy possum – both very adorable in their own way.
      The 10% surprised me too. I hope the information I shared was correct. I did check it out on a few sites as it wasn’t what I had expected.
      I am yet to read all the spring offerings over at the Carrot Ranch but I thought I had read a few filled with hope for renewal. I’ll be checking the rest out soon, or that’s the plan! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. lorilschafer

    Really enjoyed this, Norah – I love hearing about life in Australia. And I think you ought to consider turning your flash into a children’s book – what a cute poem/story that would make! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Rachel M

    I do love having seasons now that I live in Scotland. Growing up in Brisbane was really just one very long summer. Or so it seemed. I’m not very good in the heat and have always preferred the cooler weather, even as a child.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Rachel. I agree with you about Brisbane sometimes seeming like a long summer. I’m not keen on the heat of summer myself, but I think nine months of the year are beautiful, three can be a bit unbearable, but then there’s swimming which I like to do first thing in the morning. I think I’d find the constant cold and grey of the UK a bit dreary. I hope you are enjoying life over there. 🙂

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      1. Rachel M

        Yes, I love it thank you. It suits me well and is even a bit too bright for me. I’m so far north that at this time of year it feels as though the sun never goes down! My husband calls me a vampire.

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        1. Norah Post author

          I found the lengthy twilight fascinating over there. Here it seems to be day and then, all of a sudden, night. The idea of the midnight sun has always fascinated me. I guess you are getting close to that there. 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Snapshots of Spring « Carrot Ranch Communications

  6. Charli Mills

    Like Anne, I didn’t realize that only 10% of the population live in the southern hemisphere. I can’t decide if I’d like school break better in winter or summer though! Thank you for teaching us about Australia’s seasons. Your poem beats to the cadence of spring, but the true hope is found in the message, understanding that each young one own time is fine.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks Charli. I’m pleased my flash worked as I had hoped.
      We have our long school holidays in summer, from mid-December till the end of January, so it includes the Christmas and New Year holidays as well. I’ve always thought we missed out a bit there! I often think of your snowy winter days and wonder how anyone could possibly leave the house to go to work or school. I have never experienced it so find it difficult to imagine. We have a two-week semester break in June/July, and two two-week mid-semester breaks, one in April and one in September. I guess we don’t do too badly – a holiday for each season! 🙂

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  7. TanGental

    You mustn’t hide your poetry skills in the Bush you know? Your public won’t have it! It has a great rhythm and I can hear it being chanted in those high unfettered voices of the under nines. And yes spring is about nature easing its way out again, but, as Anne and you alluded to, in its on time and way. Nature is holistic; it has regard to the weather and accelerates or delays if the temperature and moisture demand it; so to with education and learning. You make your point with clarity and good sense… plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose, n’est-ce pas?

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks Geoff. Coming from a poet those words are poetry to my ears!
      I enjoyed what your wrote about the seasons, time and learning; and nature being holistic. I know just enough French to understand what you have written, and just enough to respond: mais oui!:)

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  8. Annecdotist

    I didn’t know it was only 10% of the world’s population that had their seasons the wrong way round 😉. I quite like how we have 4 more or less distinct seasons ( although they do step out of line now and then) but I know that isn’t the case in hot climates.
    Your poem was fun, as others have said, it would make a nice book for children. I like how you use the prompt to reiterate the point of doing things in our own time.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I didn’t know it was 10% either, but I checked a few different sources and they all seemed to agree. No wonder our seasons don’t get much of a look-in in literature and non-fiction for children.
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the poem and appreciate the encouragement to make it into a book. Others have suggested the same. I’m not sure. I’ll have to give it some thought to see how it would work for children. Although it reads like a children’s book, I’m not sure that the story progresses in a way that suits.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks Desley. That possum is very cute. I’m pleased I found it checking to see what animals we have that hibernate. I didn’t think we had any! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. Sherri

    Hello Norah, I am sorry I haven’t been over to your blog for a little while. I was away in London as you know, and then I went away to Jersey in The Channel Islands with my mum on Thursday, just got back late last night. We were there for Liberation Day, celebrating the 70th anniversary of VE Day when the island was set free after 5 years of occupation from Nazi Germany in WWII. An absolutely incredible experience and my head is swimming with it all. So it was lovely to come over here and read your deligthfully spring-like poem, it really made me smile, thank you for that 🙂 And it really is so strange how we think of the seasons. My birthday is in September and I can’t imagine it being in the spring…just can’t get my head around that at all!! Interesting what you say about the ‘fall’ too. I had never heard that expression until I lived in the States. Lovely photo 🙂

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    1. Norah Post author

      No need to apologize, Sherri. I’m a bit tardy getting around myself. I hope you enjoyed your time in Jersey with your mum. It sounds like an amazing experience.
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the poem. Interesting to hear that you are an autumn baby – born in September. Both my son and his son are spring babies, born in September!
      I guess I am familiar with the term “fall” from all the American picture books. Although it is great to read about everyone’s different experiences, it can be difficult explaining to children who have known nothing other than heat, few tall trees, and most trees evergreen! Thanks for sharing. I’m hoping (planning) to be over your way soon. 🙂

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      1. Sherri

        Thanks for being so understanding Norah. We know where can find one another at any time, night or day, spring or fall 😀
        And that’s lovely that your son and grandson share the same birthday month as me!
        Gaining different perspectives certainly does broaden our horizons. I used to be amazed when I lived in CA seeing all the reindeer, blow-up snowmen and icicles decorating everyone’s houses for Christmas when it was 80 degrees outside and clear, blue skies!
        See you soon Norah, and no rush 🙂

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        1. Norah Post author

          But isn’t CA in the Northern Hemisphere? Shouldn’t it be winter? Or doesn’t it have the winters any more than we do here?
          We have all the snowy Christmas cards and decorations too. Poor Santa swelters down this way.
          Now September is special for even more reasons. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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          1. Sherri

            Haha…yes, poor Santa, he must get boiling in all those Christmas sweaters 😀
            Southern California doesn’t get a real winter, although it does obviously get cooler than summer. Sometimes a rush of warm air comes through and blue skies and higher temps make it seem postively summery though, which always seemed so odd to me!
            Where we lived on the central coast when the kids were growing up, it used to get colder but rarely any snow, except for on the mountains of course. But what amazed me was that we only had to drive about 2 hours north, then another hour to about 9,000 feet and whereas it would be say, 50 degrees F down below, up there, it would be a full-on winter wonderland, like the North Pole! We took the kids to the snow most February’s but they never saw falling snow until we moved back to the UK, and that first winter we were out in our back garden trying to catch snowflakes. It was magical, I had longed to share that with my kids having grown up with ‘proper’ winters.
            Lovely sharing September with you Norah 🙂

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  10. macjam47

    Lovely poem. You should illustrate it and publish it in book form. I just had to order WAKE UP BEAR for my granddaughter. The koala song was darling. Is it taught to children in school?
    I’ve never heard of a mountain pygmy-possum. He is adorable.
    Sometimes we forget that things happening in other parts of the world are different than what we are experiencing. It is spring here, and I am not ready to think about autumn yet, with the beautiful spring flowers, blossoming trees, and baby ducks, geese, and bunnies just outside my window. Then there is the promise of summer heat and the flowers that thrive when I am sweltering. Autumn will come in due time.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your comment. I’m pleased the poem worked. I’m sure you and your granddaughter will enjoy “Wake up Bear”. It is a delightful story, delightfully told! Let me know what you think.
      I have taught students the koala song, but it is not done as a matter of course. The singer, Don Spencer, was very popular 20 – 30 years ago. Maybe he still is.
      I hadn’t heard of the mountain pygmy-possum before. It is very cute. I’m pleased to continually find out so many new (to me) things. 🙂
      I hope you do enjoy the spring and that it lasts a lovely long time. I’d be interested to know what your ‘sweltering’ summer temperatures. I’m not sure where you are, but I’ve visited the UK three times now in summer and found the temperatures to be much like those of our winters! 🙂 I always look forward to the cooling down in autumn. I’m not so keen on sweltering in summer.

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      1. macjam47

        Norah, in SW Ohio, US our summers are hot and muggy. We see temps in the 90’s in July and August, which in themselves are not bad, but it’s the high humidity that we have at the same time that makes life miserable.

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        1. Norah Post author

          Your summers sound a bit like our summers here. I definitely agree with you about the humidity. It can be very oppressive and draining. I hope you don’t have too many days like that this summer. Enjoy spring while you can! 🙂

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  11. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Funny how you took me back to childhood with those weather symbols and the season clock. They must be timeless — part of everyone’s childhood. I also enjoyed your poem.I can see it as an illustrated child’s book as well. For someone who was bereft of ideas you did brilliantly well.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you Irene. I appreciate your comment. It was hard work getting something to flow. It was one of those days when I just had to work at it – persistence and sweat. 🙂

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  12. Bec

    The poem is so beautiful! I’d absolutely love to see it illustrated in a picture book. I am very impressed you managed to write this in response to the FF – it sounds like something that’s been in development for a long time!

    Mountain pygmy possums are so adorable. Poor little things.

    I find I enjoy the season’s changes to my eating patterns. Coming into the cooler months now I am enjoying making soups more regularly, particularly with crusty bread on the side. It’s also fun having citrus in the fruit bowl now, rather than the stone fruit which visit in summer. But funnily enough, citrus seem so much more suited to a warm afternoon as they’re so refreshing, while stone fruit are so perfectly suited to a warmed pie on a chilly evening. Off topic a bit…. but it’s on my mind!!

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for your warm comment Bec. I’m pleased you like the story poem. It hasn’t been in development for a long time, though maybe it could do with some improvement.
      The mountain pygmy-possums are very cute. I want one! I didn’t realise we had any hibernating animals until I “googled” this one.
      I look forward to your food posts with the changing seasons. You always write such interesting information and share great recipes about seasonal food. I agree with you about citrus and stone fruit though. Funny, eh?

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