The seasons really do change in Faerie Glen.
Summer in the Glen is magical! It’s lush and green with vines rambling all over the place, dripping assorted flowers. Admittedly, some of the flowers are aliens and not really great to have there, but they still add to the visual charm.
Masses of bright orangey-red zinnia-type flowers march along the pathways, along with the delicate (almost translucent when the sun shines behind them) morning glory with their white, pink and purple hues – just like perfect faerie gowns. Thorn trees are green and the thorns are white and pliant. Lantana (vile stuff actually but very pretty to look at) twines itself around branches and bushes in vivid hues of yellows, pinks and orange.
The magical beasties are hard to spot in all the growth and the spruit flows freely. It’s not really possible to cross in more than a few places without getting wet. Sometimes the water dashes down in a torrent and even washes the bridge away.
Once the rains recede it starts to get a little drier.
The green fades to olive-brown. There are still the odd flowers but it’s nothing like summer. It all looks a little faded – as though Ivy Lion has packed her bags and flown off on holiday. Yet the Traveller’s Joy emerges and is fabulously delicate, draped around the place like fluffy old shawls, glinting in the sunlight.
Winter sees the Glen getting all dry and crispy.
This has a special charm all of its own.
The green has totally gone in most places and you can peer into spots and hidey holes that are totally hidden in the summer. Branches are stark and bare and the birds that perch on them are clearly outlined. You can see the Loeries shouting at each other (or maybe it’s the hikers they are shouting at) to “Go-away”.
The thorn bushes and trees are a little more vicious and tend to clutch and snag if you give them half a chance. The Traveller’s Joy has turned a silvery white colour and still glints magnificently in the sunshine but you can see it is a little passed its sell-by date.
In-between the dry crackly bits, the gentle pink and green aloes soften the harsh landscape, adding bursts of pastel colour to the sepia tones.
The beasties are much easier to spot and you can play Tarzan by holding onto willow branches and leap across the river without getting even vaguely wet.
It’s hard to believe at this stage that anything will ever be lush and green again.
But once the rains come, the water works its magic and the cycle starts all over again.