A Down Under Carol

We’re all familiar with French hens, turtledoves, and partridges in pear trees, but do you associate Christmas with bellbirds, friarbirds, and currawongs? You might, if you live in Australia!

Having just visited this amazing continent (and we barely got a taste in three weeks!), I am delighted to share this distinctly Aussie Christmas carol with you. It was written by William Garnet James and John Wheeler, is sung by Bucko & Champs, and was posted to YouTube by Shirley Wookie.

Carol of the Birds

Make sure your sound is on. I’m afraid the quality is rather poor, so don’t make the screen too big. And for the record, “orana” means welcome in an Aboriginal tongue.
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At top: Currawong (Faulconbridge, NSW, left), and Helmeted Friarbird (Daintree, QLD).

Merry Christmas

australian-king-parrot_faulconbridge-nsw-australia_lah_1425

Joy to the world! The lord is come—let earth receive her king.
Joy to the world! The lord is come—Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing!

Now, please get off your computer and go spend time with real people. That’s what I’m doing. I’ll be back Monday with a new post. Merry Christmas!

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Love Poinsettias? Thank a Phytoplasma.

poinsettias_20091218_plh_5604For many of us gardeners, poinsettia plants are an essential element of our Christmas decorating. I love the huge displays at church and in the stores, even if I don’t have room for that many in my home. I’ve written about how to keep the plants alive (see my 2012 post on “Pretty Poinsettias”). But this year I learned something new.

When I was small (I had my sixth birthday on the trip), my parents and I spent four weeks traveling around Mexico, from early December to early January. It was a wonderful time to visit, with all the Christmas and New Year celebrations. One common sight we couldn’t miss were the gardens full of bright red poinsettias in full bloom.

Continue reading “Love Poinsettias? Thank a Phytoplasma.”