January 14 2014

I had just turned out the light last night when I noticed a blotch against the window where no blotch had been before. Bright light shone through bruise-coloured clouds, big swells of grey turning red around the battered moon, one side missing. The blotch – almost rectangular – stood out from the doorframe, silhouetted. I sat up to see better what it was, and it darted away. A frog.

Despite the near-drought conditions, there are a number of frogs around the house. One jumped out of the seedlings when I moved them in the afternoon, making me squeal like a girl. Its beautiful velvet-brown skin brushed my hand as it jumped. It sat on the top of the pot and looked around, taking in the heat, the sun, my startled face relaxing as I saw it properly. One frog lives in the downpipe and bellows its croaks most evenings. One night last week it came out at dusk and ventured out along the pergola. We could see it move carefully down the beam. It was a good target for late-evening low-flying kookaburras: they sometimes do a final fly-by at about this time. Near the end of the beam it stopped for a moment – then leapt. Not just the two metres down to the ground, but in a vast arc, its tiny body in the air for just that moment. Then it was gone. Maybe into the water chestnuts, maybe right into the garden. We hunted with the torch, but its feat had delivered it where it wanted to be. Invisible.