Book: Daylesford Nature Diary
In 2013, I published a book! This beautiful little publication has sold over 1000 copies. To purchase – click the Add to Cart button under the picture of the cover on the right.
Below is a 2013 interview from the Local, by Donna Kelly, where I talk about the Daylesford Nature Diary…
Why did you decide to write the Daylesford Nature Diary?
I have been writing a monthly nature column in the Advocate since 2009, and this has been one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. I simply love noticing a certain type of plant in flower, or some interesting animal behaviour whilst out and about and then crafting it into a short story to share. The feedback over the years has been wonderful; as people stop me in the supermarket or at the servo to talk about “their” wrens or pobblebonks. I had also heard of people cutting out and saving the articles for friends or family, or people in Melbourne who visit the area.
So I thought – why not put these stories into a lovely book? And my friendships with Gib Wettenhall ( editor of EmPress Publishing) and Mel Woolcock ( amazing graphic designer) meant that I had a team ready to create a quality publication. I was also thrilled the Gib involved Anne Mason in the project, who did the beautiful watercolour illustrations.
And instead of just printing the articles as they appeared in the paper, I wanted to add a little something extra for my long-time readers. I created a six season calendar for the Wombat Forest, and ordered the stories in the book according to the seasons. The concept of six seasons instead of the four European seasons is based on indigenous calendars, which follow the weather patterns and the behaviour of flora and fauna to mark the seasons, rather than dates! So the subtitle of the book is ‘six seasons in the foothill forests’.
What will it offer local people?
People in this area really enjoy the forest, and the plants and animals that we share our lives with. The stories aim to deepen this appreciation by providing a focus on a particular plant or animal, and what is happening in their world at any given point in the year. So we might be observing a mass flowering of egg and bacon plants, or clouds of Common Brown Butterflies, or hearing koalas call at night.
The articles also offer tips on the practicalities of living with wildlife – birds attacking windows, turtles on the roads and big old male kangaroos camping in the backyard!
The book is a great primer for those moving to the area to live, and who are keen to get to know their local nature but unsure where