Shape of Things to Come

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Protecting landscapes isn’t a novel idea. An appreciation for spectacular views and aesthetically special places drove the creation of the first national parks in Australia and many other parts of the world, long before we starting talking about things like biodiversity values and ecosystem services. In Australia we’ve protected these places by preventing their habitation or exploitation for anything more than tourism, but you can’t do that in a place like Peru… Read More

This planet, this remarkable pale blue dot, is our one and only home. There is no nobler cause than to take care of it, to work towards a greener, fairer, cleaner future. Let’s create the kind of world we want to live in: every day, every choice counts. This is our home and we all can shape it.  

Today is International Volunteers Day, apparently. There’s a day or a week or a month for everything, it seems, but volunteering is a good thing to stop and think about now and again. Volunteering – donating our knowledge, labour or skills for free – is a powerful way of creating the kind of future we’d like to see. I’m volunteering on a big scale, spending a year working to help to develop… Read More

It’s a strange thing, packing up a life and heading off into the unknown. It’s funny what a life comes down to, really. In a world of regulations, a life is constrained into ticky-boxes. There are accounts to be cancelled or suspended and the problem of redirections when you have no forwarding or returning address. All the notifications, proof of travel, suspension and cancellation fees: yhe official records of our lives contain… Read More

It’s that time of year again. The days are still hot, the soil still concerningly dry and the breeze still smells of smoke but they are getting shorter. Summer is slowly sliding into autumn. The garden knows it. The leaves on the last potatoes have been yellowing. The beans, so prolific this summer, are finishing. A lone pumpkin is beginning to ripen on the self-sown vine. The red winter kale has finally… Read More

Chances are you heard about the severe bushfires that swept through Tasmania a couple of months ago. It was awful, a terrible combination of a hot dry summer and a day of searing temperatures and high winds. Perfect fire weather: all it needed was a spark… Up at Lake Repulse someone left a campfire unattended in the pine forest.  Near Bicheno and out at Giblin River, lightning struck the blazes. In Forcett… Read More

These last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling a little low. This time of year does it to me: I get over-scheduled, over-committed, under-slept, and with most folk getting busy with family commitments sometimes I feel pretty alone. I’m tired, and some days it can feel like a bit of a struggle to keep going, but then the little things come along that lift me. This afternoon I took myself on a… Read More

Can you believe it’s November already? November, when the weather finally warms up around here, the days grow long and the garden takes off. Time to plan for the summer and the busy period to come. I’m wondering where 2012 went and realising that all too soon it will be Christmas, then New Year and 2013 will be here. Christmas… It still strikes me as unnatural to celebrate Christmas at the height… Read More

One of the wish list items I was looking for when I chose my most recent home was a walkable neighbourhood, and I’m pleased to say I got it. Since moving here I barely use my car. I walk to the corner grocer, I walk to visit friends or to my favourite coffee haunt, I walk to the produce market on Sundays and five days a week I walk to work. The… Read More

It’s early spring here in southern Tasmania; no doubt about it. The bulbs have pushed their green fingers through wet soil, the daffodils have thrust their cheerful faces towards the sky and the garden is gently unfurling itself, seeking the warming sun. The nights are still chilly but the days are lighter and warmer, and this weekend the first bees appeared, contentedly buzzing among the bright blue flowers of my borage. It’s… Read More