Springtime is with us! Our natural world is emerging from its winter of rest, and all around us new life is bursting forth.
Now, more than ever, with lockdown uncertainty and stress, time spent exercising in nature surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers is good for our body and mental health, and a time for reflection and remembrance.
There is nothing better than walking under a canopy of golden yellow wattle blossoms, with their sweet perfume and vibrant colour.
Now is the best time of all. Wattles are reaching their peak flowering period, and on September 1, National Wattle Day was celebrated all around Australia
In 1988 the Golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) was officially gazetted our national floral emblem and in 1992 the first day of September was declared as 'National Wattle Day'.
Unlike other national symbols, wattle excludes no one but is uniquely Australian and representative of us all. It has great diversity, resilience and meaning to many Australians. In short there is no other symbol that says so much about us and our land.
Wattle links us in time with those Australians, both indigenous and non-indigenous, who depended upon it - for firewood, tools, weapons, medicine, food, building and fencing.
Now is the best time of all. Wattles are reaching their peak flowering period...Neil Jones
It has an industrial and economic history, from the tannin-rich bark of Golden and Black wattle which supplied colonial tanneries, to the beautiful wood of Blackwood, one of the world's finest cabinet timbers.
Wattle links us across our huge continent, where nearly one thousand different wattles (Acacia species) have evolved to survive across a wide range of soils and climates.
There are few places in Australia where a wattle is not found growing, either in the bush or in our gardens.
Wattles provide essential food, shade and shelter for native birds and animals. Wattles survive the passing of difficult times. They have a remarkable ability to regenerate after fire, flood and drought - symbolising our resilience as a people.
We are fortunate in Orange to be able to walk among the wattles in many of our city's parks, gardens, wetlands and bush reserves.
The Ploughmans Wetlands, its pathways lined with Red-Stemmed, Ovens and Black wattles, are currently bathed in yellow and gold. The Orange Botanic Gardens and Gosling Creek Reserve offer similar experiences.
Go forth and celebrate the wattle!