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).

Growing Garlic

garlic-wikicommons-warzywa_czosnek002-1You may overlook the display at first, hidden among the photos of bright red tulips and sunny daffodils. Bulb planting season is here, and garden centers have towers of cardboard boxes labeled with spring blooms, somewhat incongruous at this time of year. Go ahead and pick out those hyacinths and crocuses, but don’t forget the garlic!

Sure, you can buy garlic at the market, but it’s one of those crops that is much better when home-grown. In this case, it’s not so much the just-harvested freshness as it is the variety. Most grocery stores do not sell the Good Stuff.

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