It’s enough to turn us all grey!

Grey skies!

As if we hadn’t had enough with the bushfires, smoke haze, drought and heat!

We were driving away to see my mother-in-law, in another bushfire affected area of NSW, and we seemed to be trying to outrun this massive storm that was brewing. It was getting closer and closer but watching it from the safety of the car was quite compelling.

Later that day Canberra was hit by a massive hail storm which saw thousands of cars smashed by huge hailstones and lots of damage done to houses and businesses. The CSIRO, an eminent scientific research organisation had many of their glasshouses ruined by the catastrophic storm. You can read more here from ABC News.

By the time the storm hit we were well out of the way of the damaging hail but still we were caught in the very heavy rain. But it was welcome rain!

Grey skies
Grey skies

Despite that, I still like the grey colour in the sky in these photos and the light. Considering they were snapped on my phone as we drove along, I’m quite pleased with how they turned out!

Stormy skies ahead
Stormy skies ahead

A poem that says it all

My Country” is a poem about Australia, written by Dorothea Mackellar (1885–1968) at the age of 19 while homesick in the United Kingdom. After travelling through Europe extensively with her father during her teenage years, she started writing the poem in London in 1904 and re-wrote it several times before her return to Sydney.


I have always enjoyed the second verse of this poem, as it is the most well known, but upon reading the whole poem again, I felt it all needed to be shared.


The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

“I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze ...

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
Dorothea Mackeller

Some more grey skies from the archives!

Australia Day

Enjoy your Sunday. I will be helping out with our Rotary Club at our town’s Australia Day bbq where all the local firefighters and volunteers will be thanked for their efforts in keeping our town safe from the recent bushfires.

It’s more a day to get together and catch up with our neighbours and friends, afterwards there’s a cricket match between the local teams and the visiting Army personnel.

Not your average Australia Day, but then lately nothing has been average has it?

What are your plans or thoughts on Australia Day? Interested to know.

Deb xx

Grey is the prompt for Terri’s Sunday Stills this week and these photos and the poem ‘My Country’ go hand in hand in my opinion.

Sunday Stills photo challenge
Sunday Still weekly photo challenge

All my Sunday Stills posts can be found here

Also linking up with Denyse’s #LifethisWeek with the prompt of Australia.

You can also find Deb’s World in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

Copyright © 2023 – All rights reserved

56 Replies to “It’s enough to turn us all grey!”

  1. I learnt Dorothea Mackellar’s My Country in primary school in the 1950s, and it still thrills my soul to hear it. Thanks, Deb, for sharing it on this Australia Day. It’s especially meaningful to us given the battering our country has taken over recent months.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember that poem from Primary School Deb and it has always been one of my favourites. We have had much needed rain up here in Queensland although I thought of those in Canberra who have had the damaging hail. We do live in a country of extremes. I actually love a stormy, grey sky especially when it is over the ocean. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Happy Sunday xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your photos Deb, they captured Dorothea MacKellar”s country perfectly. It’s my country too now, and I too love the ‘far horizons, and ‘sweeping plains”. I particularly love her ‘jewel seas. I came from NZ when I was 20, but Australia is home to me. I get homesick for Australia whenever I’m overseas anywhere, and it’s the sunburnt country, and the contrasts of colour, and the far horizons – that feeling of space here that I get heartsick for. Your photos are perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Chris, that makes me so happy to hear! I was hoping to capture the essence of her words with my photos and was actually surprised how often the word ‘grey’ appeared in the poem. I also miss our country when I’m away and I’m so glad you’ve adopted Australia as your home now. Welcome!!


  4. I love a sunburnt country,
    A land of sweeping plains,
    Of ragged mountain ranges,
    Of droughts and flooding rains.
    I love her far horizons,
    I love her jewel-sea,
    Her beauty and her terror –
    The wide brown land for me!

    Ah…that to me says it all and to think it was written back in 1904 over 100 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I immediately thought of “I love a sunburnt country” because we’re certainly a land of extremes aren’t we Deb. Nobody mentions the giant hailstones that never appeared in years gone by. We had a deluge of them in Perth about 10 years ago and it was a big hit on the insurance companies – the car yards were filled with unsaleable cars! I wonder why the heat is always talked about but not random hail storms?? Glad you didn’t get hit x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful photos that go well with the poem, Deb. Great tie in to Terri’s Grey photo challenge and Denyse’s Australia prompt too. Thanks for sharing and happy Australia Day to you. #lifethisweek

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A beautiful poem to bring tears to my eyes, Debbie. The whole world holds its collective breath waiting to hear better news about the fires in Australia! Your photos are amazing, that golden hillside shadowed by the dark gray! I’m sorry to read the storm brought hail but hopefully, the tide is turning and more precipitation is near! I pray for hope and peace as you celebrate Australia Day and beyond.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a lovely poem; it captures her homesickness for, and her love of, her country so beautifully. I’m glad that you managed to escape the hail! I can’t imagine something that big and hard coming out of the sky. I am proud that our zoo (here in San Diego) has been raising funds to support the wildlife rescue and shelter/medical care efforts. They also had a Australia Day celebration this weekend to raise even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Deb the grey sky in your photo is beautiful! I love My Country. We had to learn it at school and I e never forgotten the words. I was planning on posting it today but changed my mind. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read it again. Her words say it all about our country.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love that poem and the colours in your pics are stunning. We certainly have had some extreme weather lately. I have mixed feelings about Australia Day – I definitely think our beautiful country and it’s wonderful people need to be celebrated but I really don’t feel comfortable doing it on 26 January. Love that your town is giving back this Australia Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Deb, such a timeless poem isn’t it. So very fitting today and to think it was written so long ago. Here’s to much more rain. Stunning pics! Hope you had a happy Australia Day weekend. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We have been following the news from your area and very concerned about the bushfires, storms, hail and all the repercussions. Your photos are amazing, Deb! I like your word “compelling.” A beautiful and poignant poem. She reminds me how home is where your heart is. Hugs to you and everyone.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Erica, it’s so good to know we have been in your thoughts. It’s been very tough and everyone you meet has a story to tell and are still shell shocked. The sky was compelling and I couldn’t stop watching it as we drove along, felt like we were trying to outrun the storm. Yes the poem is very poignant and I love it!! Thanks again xx

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes to the grey skies but no to the damage it did in Canberra. A blogging (more iG now) friend in Canberra watched (as did many) as around 400 cars in the carpark were damaged beyond repair in that hail.
    I do love our country spirit and extremes but they’ve done enough for a bit I think.

    I have moved away from making a ‘big’ deal of celebrating Australia Day as such which is why my post had references to the ways in which there is action on reconciliation.

    I am so taken with our country’s “countries” according to Aboriginal land maps that I purchased one to be less ignorant about where I live and have lived. I actually have tried to track my Aboriginal heritage from Mum’s side but there were no recognised registers of birth ‘back in the day.’ But appearance wise, there are definite signs in my brother and his daughter and our son. Interesting alright!

    Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is #ShareYourSnaps. I hope you will join in then too. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Denyse, I do understand your feelings about Australian Day and agree. It’s interesting trying to do research of that era and my family tree has many connections and descendants to Aboriginal heritage too. We have managed to trace one family line and are connected to Troy Cassar-Daly’s family. I’ll see you next week!


  14. Well, Deb, thankful that you’ve seen a bit of rain…but those grey skies certainly look threatening. If we were out in our boat and saw those we would be running for safe harbor!
    Fantastic pictures, considering especially that you took them while traveling along. I’ve tried that too, but without particular success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nancy, I was very surprised at how well they turned out too considering they were taken on the go! I can imagine being out ion a boat in those conditions – well actually I wouldn’t be out there at all!! We need more rain now but hopefully there will be some soon.


Let's keep the conversation going...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: