In the northern hemisphere, Halloween is celebrated during fall, when landscapes are wreathed in eerie mist. Here in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales we are supposed to be in the full glory of spring, but there can be some surprisingly appropriate weather.
There are haunting scenes everywhere, such as this old lamp in Blackheath’s Memorial Park. Note the spring blossom.
Deep amid the old rhododendrons in the park.
Look at this web in my Blackheath garden. Alas, there are plenty more on my windows!
Mind you, I have never actually participated in Halloween. This may be because no ‘trick or treat’ child in ghoulish costume has ever knocked at my secluded, often mist shrouded door.
I did have some treats on hand a few years ago, but ended up eating them all myself. Perhaps I should make pumpkin lanterns; the glow might attract a few small ghosts or vampires who wander off the beaten track..
But increasingly, the festival is celebrated in our villages;
It seems that Hazelbrook had a special connection with Halloween way back in the 1920s. The following is from The Sydney Mail on October 31 1923;
A HALLOWE’EN CONFERENCE
The Hallowe’en Conference of United Fays [fairies] took place place this year in the valley of the Horseshoe Falls, Hazelbrook.
The opening feature was an impressive procession down Winding Stair, each delegate carrying a green lantern and wearing his cloak of invisibility. There was a full accompaniment of elfin horns and an illuminated escort of fireflies. As the procession wound past Lizard Stump and under Sassafras Arch the full scheme of illuminations beneath Horseshoe Falls came into view and evoked delighted comments from the visiting delegates. The company then took their seats in the toadstool clump that always springs up around Slippery Log, beneath the falls. A choir of singing sprites rendered the old glee, ‘From Oberon in Fairyland,’ and the business of the conference commenced.
The centre for celebration these days appears to be further west at Lithgow, The town holds an annual Halloween Festival. Below is a photo taken last year. All is in readiness for a skull auction at the local library;
Even the birds of the Blue Mountains get into the spirit of things;
How about this for Mountains magic? A bit of ‘special’ water and hey presto….a Halloween Bowerbird. Spooky eh?
Even the residents can look a little, well…..
When it is too foggy to drive a car safely, witches have an advantage. Quite fitting for Halloween really.
My associate Editor Des was inspired to make his own broom for the occasion;