It’s untypically dry here, even the short grass between the beige tussocks is brown. The air is smoky; the ever-forecast rain does not materialise.
I am mowing firebreaks, crew-cutting the tussocks and blady grass, mulching sticks and gum leaves as I go.
And I am pumping day and night (it’s a very slow but sturdy old pump) to fill my ridgetop tanks for possible fire duty.
Walking over to my springfed dam to fill the pump tank early one morning, I met the sun just coming over the ridge.
Its rays lit up the ti-trees that are now flowering most gracefully over there; they love the damp along the spring line.
As the sun rose, more of the forest began to be streaked with light and even the tussocks glowed. I thought again how much I love this blue gum forest, mostly regrowth yes, but its trees are as tall and straight and silky as their 50-60 years could make them.
They thrive here — as do I.