Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Five seasons, and over and out


As media interest in changing our seasons starts to wane at last, perhaps as we move closer to ye olde 'spring' - or at least the day where Australian's tend to start spring - I present this lovely diagramatic illustration of a possible Five Seasons system for coastal Sydney, thanks to Karen Rinkel, one of our talented Graphic Designers at the Botanic Gardens.

Over the last two weeks, there have been more than 30 media articles and broadcasts – 4 newspaper, over 25 radio, 4 TV and 3 web. Interest spread out around all states in Australia and then internationally (BBC Worldservice, UK and Scotland, and two NZ radio stations).
Responses have varied but mostly people have enjoyed the chance to question our four-season system, and to think about the big biological and climatic changes in each year. It's clear that Indigenous communities have over tens of thousands of years come up with systems far more meaningful than our imported European schema. We could adopt these rather than my slightly plant biased system, or at least use local Indigenous names instead of my clumsy 'springer' and 'sprummer'!

Either way it would mean different seasons for different parts of the country but if that's the way it is, that's the way it is. Our calendar and clock (daylight saving differences excepted) are for keeping us all organised - seasons could be for tracking the changes in the environment around us. And do we change seasons as the climate changes? Perhaps. Maybe that's a good thing too.

Lots of questions and little resolution, yet. But it's a start...

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