While Australia, remembered the fallen on ANZAC day, my husband and I took a trip to Bright, VIC, Australia for our 30th Wedding Anniversary.
As an artist and someone who spent many years raking leaves and playing in the piles of leaves, I have always missed the many colours/colors of Autumn. I grew up in the USA, and every year I loved walking in the cool autumn afternoon and seeing the amazing colors of the Autumn leaves. When I learned to paint I wanted to paint and draw the Autumn leaves. However, I no longer lived in the USA, and the leaves of the trees in Australia do not change colours the way they do in countries in the northern hemisphere.
I moved to Australia in 1984. The first year, the seasons changed before I realized what time of the year it was. The changes of season in most parts of Australia are very subtle and the trees that are native to Australia are evergreens. Eucalyptus trees are very large majestic trees that change through the seasons. Eucalyptus trees do change with the seasons. In the summer many species shed their bark. The shedding of their bark is quite amazing to see! The leaves however, are a consistent colour all year round.
I was so excited, this weekend when my husband and I went to the Bright, Autumn Festival and the Wandi Nut Festival. It is a mountainous area of Victoria Australia with many disciduous tree from the Northern hemisphere. It is cold enough for the leaves of these trees to turn all the beautiful colors of Autumn that I love so much. I made sure I brought my travel easel and watercolors with me to paint all the leaves I wanted to collect.
Not only are there so many places to see, take pictures of and visit, we wanted to go to the Wandi Nut Festival to see the markets there. There were many stalls there with all the food and products of the area. There was a cooking demonstration, a demonstration of how to cook Chesnuts. Have you ever tried to cook chesnuts? Haha, well my husband and I tried once and it was like trying to eat crabs, a lot of work with very little food for reward! I think I found the trick to freeing the nut meat so I can enjoy them a bit more.....scoring the outer skin of the nut before roasting! Oh, and they are great cooked over a fire. We don't have a fire so I guess I might have to get the hubby to cook them over the BBQ. That will give them the similar smoked flavor. :>)
There are some deciduous trees in Australia, but they are introduced and come from Europe, North America, and Japan. In the warmer areas of Australia, the deciduous trees leaves in the Autumn do not change to all the vibrant colours as they do in the colder climates, where the trees come from. My husband and I travel and visit areas often just to photograph and paint the unique attractions of that area. So, you can imagine how excited I was to visit Bright, VIC during the Autumn Fesitval. Bright is a colder area of VIC and has a large number of deciduous trees in the surrounding areas. The contrast of the mountains, the Eucalyptus trees and the bright colours of the deciduous trees are and artists paradise! I found so many things for inspiration. I even had time to paint a few watercolour images of the leaves I found. I will have to do a few more paintings of the beautiful things we saw and took photos of.