When my family first moved to WA, I was somewhat disappointed that we’d come to a Westernised country that didn’t celebrate a white Christmas. Yes, I knew about hemispheres by then. Somehow, I’d always just associated Caucasian culture with cold weather during the festive season.
Perth summers don’t just subvert this expectation. They destroy it completely. Our above-40 degree days (104°F for American readers) are quite remarkable. That said, weather and climate are common topics among us west coasters — even moreso in this time of climate change — so any kind of weather around here gets remarked upon.
My favourite way to spend a Perth summer is down at the beach. However, too many days in a row and I start to feel crispy, so my second favourite summertime activity is strolling through a local park.
We have some beautiful parks here. They’re home (or at least hangout spots) for native birds and sometimes other wildlife. At the moment, we live in a small apartment near a couple of parks and get treated to all manner of creature in our area.
Crows say hello from streetside fences. Magpies sing when you pass by (or swoop if they don’t like you). Kookaburras laugh in the evenings. Sulphur crested cockatoos gather in big flocks and have a good shouting party a couple times a day. And of course, the notoriously aggressive Willy Wagtail sometimes stops by for a chat. My local park is a bird lover’s dream.
In my latest novelette, The Guy from the Park, I wanted to share a little Perth park life with you all. The mercurial weather, bird friends, quirky people, native flora — you’ll find them all featured in the backdrop (and sometimes intruding into the foreground) of this short and sweet romance.