8 March 2014

There’s a moth banging against the big windows, bashing itself against the glass. We hear it before we see it, bang bang bang. I turn to look and something flies in from the dark side of the door. It’s a brown frog, looking small and silly on the paving, having missed the moth and stunned itself in the process. The moth, bigger than the frog, has also taken a blow, and bashes itself with more ferocity against the doors, flying more crazily and haphazardly when I put the outside light on. It bumps blindly around, clutching me for a mistaken moment as it searches for whatever it seeks.

It’s getting too cool to eat outside, and the moths add another reason to eat in. The days are still too hot to work all day, so we cram our gardening into the late afternoon and eat late when it’s dark. At last the grass is growing enough to need mowing, the weeds are sprouting in their opportunistic way, and the vegetables that have sat stunted in the ground for all these months are buoyant and producing – zucchinis, bok choy, all manner of greens. A particularly robust Thai basil with a strong anise flavour has spread seeds all around and little basils are coming up through the garden. Our own mutant capsicum / chilli has doubled in size over the past two weeks and is covered in its crinkled red fruit – not too hot, just right for me, a chilli-heat wimp.

The small birds have vanished, as if the rain has washed them away. There is less evidence of the wallabies in the garden, the kale and the parsley safe again, small chosen patches of juicy grass nibbled down instead. We do see an immature male forest kingfisher on the bottom fence, its blue plumage not as bright or distinct, its actions not as swift or precise as its older relative who graced the fences near the road for a few weeks. An eagle perches on the dying tree above our house, chased away by two game galahs. The eagle stretches its shaggy-edged wings and flaps lazily away.

The bare hill has a sheen of green, and its curves take on the beauty of simplicity, its bones of eroded rock covered again. White clouds in a blue sky cluster and clump, the clean line of the hill’s swell standing out against their puffery.