Sprinter and Sprummer: Australia's Changing Seasons
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 animals – a 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.
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