by marian faa
IF YOU'VE been feeling a little more optimistic lately, it might have something to do with the grass.
While we can always do with more rain in our region, summer showers have greened the whole place up and it's not just our lawns that are looking happier.
Local psychologist Mark Cary said rain and natural regrowth has a positive effect on our psychological health.
"I think it helps lift people's mood and perhaps give people a brighter outlook for the future,” Mr Cary said.
"It's certainly very important to have rain in rural areas for industry and agriculture so seeing the signs on recent rain gives people some optimism.”
Research has shown that having regular contact with nature, even if it is just a plant on your desk or a quick stroll in the park, reduces anxiety and has a calming response in both children and adults.
But the colour green itself carries many positive connotations.
Green is a sign of health, fertility and harmony.
It is also a symbol of prosperity and wealth.
Having more green on your plate at dinner time can also give you a boost - inside and out.
Leafy greens are high in dietary fibre, chlorophyll and other important nutrients that keep your body in peak performance.
And what about the old saying 'green with envy'?
Well we have Shakespeare to thank for that one, but for now let's just enjoy the leafy outlook around town.