Sprinter and Sprummer challenges the traditional four seasons, and encourages us to think about how we view changes in our natural world. Since 1788, Australia has carried the yoke of four European seasons that make no sense in most parts of the country. We may like them for historical or cultural reasons, or because they are the same throughout the world, but they tell us nothing of our natural environment. It's time to reject those seasons and to adopt a system that brings us more in tune with our plants and animalsa system that helps us to notice and respond to climate change. Using examples from his 25 years working in botanic gardens, author Timothy Entwisle illustrates how our natural world really responds to seasonal changes in temperature, rainfall and daylight, and why it would be better to divide up the year based on what Australian plants do rather than ancient rites of the Northern Hemisphere. Sprinter and Sprummer opens with the origins and theory of the traditional seasonal system and goes on to review the Aboriginal seasonal classifications used across Australia. Entwisle then proposes a new five-season approach, explaining the characteristics of each season, along with the biological changes that define them. The book uses seasons to describe the fascinating triggers in the life of a plant (and plant-like creatures), using charismatic flora such as carnivorous plants, the Wollemi Pine and orchids, as well as often overlooked organisms such as fungi. The final chapter considers climate change and how the seasons are shifting whether we like it or not. Proceeds from the sale of this book will assist the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne to advance the knowledge, conservation and enjoyment of plants.
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About the Author
Timothy J. Entwisle is a highly respected scientist and scientific communicator with a broad interest in plants, science and gardens. He was Director of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens for eight years, spent two years at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew then returned to Australia in 2013 and is currently Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
Table of Contents
Introduction Acknowledgements List of illustrations 1. The Vivaldi option The seasons we had to have The Earth, spinning like a top A quick seasonal tour of the world Seasons of the sun Opinions divided on the need for seasonal change 2. Knock'em down storm and other Indigenous seasons From west to north – two to six Australian seasons Spotlight on Sydney seasons The south-east – anything from three to seven seasons 3. Five very Australian seasons If it ain't broke, why fix it? Sprinter Sprummer Summer Autumn Winter Seasonal rumblings in the motherland Why I'm right 4. Sprinter, the early spring: August and September Celebrating the start of spring Wattle Day on the wrong day Flowery sprinter Animals spring to life in sprinter Sprinter, come rain or shine Sprinter by any other name Botanising in sprinter Think global, act local 5. Sprummer, the cranky one: October and November Biological cycles Sprummer is cranky in London too What to do about the mountains Sprummer, the Australian fall? 6. The long hot summer: December to March Fruit in summer and other seasons Life and death in summer The endless summer An English summer, if you're lucky Plants on fire Plant survivors 7. Autumn's fat spiders and fungi: April and May Stocking up for winter The fungal season Changeable weather Autumnal colour 8. Wakeful winter: June and July Budding up Chilled out A weedy history Night-time is party-time for some The winter that isn't 9. Changing seasons The inexorable creep of spring Australia's changing seasons Say it with flowers Ready for change Endnotes Bibliography Index