July 24, 2014

Against the low-lying grey of the sky, stretching out in all directions, trapping the earth in layers of comfortless wool, a pale-blue puff rises straight ahead of me, like an exhalation of light. It brings texture to the still landscape, where husks of yellow grass cover the fields and hills, greyed-out tree trunks rise and slip by like film sets.

Calves and lambs bound in the fields, tiny, fresh, inquisitive. They frolic around their mothers who solemnly patrol the bare paddocks, searching out the feed they rejected yesterday. The black-faced sheep race around a shrunken dam, its sides lined with the corrugations of sheep traffic, its water black. Four horses in long coats gather around a bale of hay. An irrigated field is a startling green, its edges ragged.

The creek is nearly still, the pond near the causeway stagnant and slimy. The air bites as I walk down the hill.