Change is here, the full moon has just passed and today is equinox- the sun has passed the equator and is heading towards us, to pass over us at 90 degrees in a couple of months and then to our South.
Well we have all felt this, over the last couple of weeks it has been hotting up, there are looming clouds and humidity, piles of cyclone clean up rubbish scatter the pavements and the wind is changing direction. It’s time again for our brain function to decrease and brain cells to slowly drip out of ears until the rains come- well that is my experience anyway. We can try and save our sanity with frequent (banana) showers and fans on full whizz or dip in cool water- if you can find some. I find a little spray bottle of water and peppermint or lavender helps and cycling is better than walking as you make your own breeze, laying around in shade is even better. Hot teas and spicy food is actually great for keeping you cool by encouraging sweating, although a cold beer always tastes pretty good- but does not enhance brain function! Drinking lots of water is a good thing!
It is so important to take notice of the changes in our native environment, climate and surrounds, to be aware of it and feel connected to it and then if growing food use this knowledge to change how we grow plants and what we grow. White fella seasons up in the Top End are really only divided into ‘Dry Season’, ‘Wet Season’ and then ‘Build up’ and ‘Build down’ in-between. The Indigenous people of the region divided the year into many seasons, all based on indicators in the landscape that changed as the year cycled.
Each language group in Northern Australia has its own words and way of dividing the times of year. In the Darwin region of Darwin, Cox Peninsular, and Gunn Point, the Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) language is the language group of the traditional owners past and present. At the moment the season is Gurrulwa guligi – Big Wind time. The Kapok is flowering (pictured above and edible too) and coming into fruit and the Kurrajong (below) is flowering, its wonderful bright red flowers on its bear branches. The water holes are drying up and Magpie goose are common in the Mango farms and watered areas. I noticed a lot of trees were getting a new flush of leaves, which happens due to a change in temperature in preparation for the rains.
The true build up comes a bit later and is called Darlirrgang and cocky apples drop their white flowers. It is so good to get on country and watch the changes, and we are so lucky to even have a lot of native bush near us even in the suburbs and outer Darwin; our native landscape and the vastness and beauty of it really is what makes this region an amazing and special place to live, so we should give the land all the respect it needs. A good website if interested in native flowers in the Darwin region is Top End Native Plants Society.
Lorraine Williams, Judith Williams, Maureen Ogden, Keith Risk and Anne Risk all contributed to the development of the calendar.The calendar above is copyright of CSIRO and the Larrakia/ Gulumoerrgin language groups contributers, but can be downloaded at CSIRO
The Gulumoerrgin seasonal year is divided into seven main seasons: Balnba (rainy season); Dalay (monsoon season); Mayilema (speargrass, Magpie Goose egg and knock ‘em down season); Damibila (Barramundi and bush fruit time); Dinidjanggama (heavy dew time); Gurrulwa (big wind time), and Dalirrgang (build-up).
The moon is also vital in our natural cycles and very useful to guide in in planting food. Moon calendars are created for guidance to when to plant, harvest and so much more…