June 28 - July 4, 2015: Issue 220

 Winter In Australia

 Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) - picture by A J Guesdon, 2015

The Fairy Dell.

'Twas on a sweet spring morn I saw thee first
O Fairy Dell, by man unfairified,
Although some magi there did still abide,
Which exorcise be could not if be durst
The little limpid bubbling rills, which burst
From fernmasked embrasures in the rock side
The glory of the flowers pf springtide ;
The mossy boulders, hardly half immersed
In the low creek, the sunlight flickering
Through the drooped gumleaves in thin chequered shade
And gay wrens, with shrill pipe and rapid wing,
Glittering by, although the axe had laid
Civilization's desolating brand
Upon the graceful work of Nature's hand.

I saw thee next late on an afternoon
Of rainy wrath, the glitter there no more,
The wrens hushed, and the boulders flooded o'er
With swirling muddy waters, which swept on
Over the fall and leapt on the lagoon
With eddying yellow foam and sullen roar,
And, leaving it o'erwhelmed on either shore,
The ferns which arched them from the summer sun.
Nature was dark, and pitiless the rain
Yet I, who love the glowing light and heat
Of southern suns, spite of myself, was fain
The dismal scene as an old friend to greet ;
For so I'd seen the brave brown waters course
Down many a Yorkshire dale and Cumbrian "force."
The Fairy Dell. (1884, June 7). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1881 - 1894), p. 17. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64035496

I must go out to the bush to-day,
For its witching voice I have heard;
The call of the flowers, the call of the trees,
And, oh, the call of a bird!

Loud, clear call from the gum trees tall,  
Soft notes in the woodland hush;
Fairy flutings of dear blue wrens,
And, oh, the call of the thrush!

Never a king had carpet so rare
As that which the earth has spread,
Where royal purples and tender blues
Are blended with gold and red.

The slender clematis has spread her veil  
Of starry blooms to the breeze;
And the bees are murmuring all day long  
In the flowers of the tall gum trees.  

The wattle has brought from the earth's warm heart
The gold that was hidden there;
She has hung it in tassels and fairy balls,
And its perfume has filled the air.

I must go out from the town to-day,
From its noise and turmoil and push,
For I hear the clear call of bird and of tree,
And, oh, the call of the bush!
CALL OF THE BUSH. (1926, August 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16332229
Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen (5 February 1856, London-12 February 1947, Hove) was an English author and academic.Educated at Temple Grove School, East Sheen, Cheltenham College, and Trinity College, Oxford, in 1879 Sladen migrated to Australia, where he became the first professor of history in the new University of Sydney.

Constance Le Plastrier, born 23 Jan 1864 St Kilda, Victoria, grew up in the Melbourne suburbs of St Kilda and Hawthorn, a member of a well to do family. She became a teacher and, influenced by the works of Cardinal Newman, was received into the Catholic Church in 1895, a decisive event in her life. In 1900 she moved to Sydney, where she continued her teaching career. She wrote botany textbooks and was the first woman to be elected President of the Field Naturalists' Society. She also edited many Shakespearean plays for use in schools. She died 7 Feburary, 1938 in Sydney
Superb Fairy Wren - A J Guesdon picture