Spring has really sprung in Australia in the past week with nature declaring that it's time to move into a new cycle.
We're expecting 26 degrees celsius today - by far the warmest day for many months, and unusually hot for this time of year.
One tree that's saying welcome to spring is my mandarin which is laden with blossom, pursued vigilantly by dozens of buzzing bees.
Bees were everywhere in my garden this morning and I had fun trying to photograph them before they moved on in their busy way.
I managed to catch a few but most were out of focus! I JUST got this one in the photograph below.
The entire tree is covered in blossom, and so is the ground beneath. Seems as though I can look forward to a crop as good as last years:
However, I do wonder for how long bees will continue to feel comfortable in my garden, what with climate change and the sad outcome of our local government elections just announced.
Almost three years ago councillors were sacked in our area on the beautiful North Coast of New South Wales, and an extended inquiry was held into connections between some councillors and huge developer funding for the elections. The council was making decisions that were beginning to cover our soil with concrete in a very unbalanced way. The Commissioner's report was scathing, but no charges were laid.
Administrators ruled for the next two plus years and and two weeks ago we had our first new elections.
Initially it looked as though the pro-environment candidates would win in a landslide, with the first two - both women - coming in with thousands of primary votes more than the others.
However, we have what's called a preferential voting system here and, as usual, the devil was in the detail.
Unless you really understood what each candidate stood for, it was very easy to make a mistake with this system. You could give your preferential vote to a person about whom you knew nothing, and who could turn out to have a contrary point of view.
Now it looks as though the ballot paper was stacked with obscure pro-development people who apparently had done secret deals on preferences, and the clandestine scheme won the day.
The result will probably be: green councillors 3, pro-development councillors 4. The old pro-development mayor could be in again, with a casting vote at his disposal.
There are a lot of voters here wondering just what has happened.
Tweed is a beautiful mostly unspoiled area that makes the crowded Gold Coast high rises just across the border look monstrous.
We now wonder if this is our future as well.
Wish us luck!
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