14 August 2014
The weather forecast is for rain – 40mm originally, now downgraded to 20mm – but even 20mm would be very welcome. More than we’ve had all year. The paddocks are bare after drought and frost, and most of the cows in the area nibble at bare earth and are being hand fed. We still have some feed, and the cows still look plump, but they’re trying all sorts of things – wattle, lantana – that they wouldn’t normally consider. We’re on the edge of our seats waiting for rain. We’re on edge.

There’s something so deeply depressing about bare paddocks and bright blue skies that don’t even hold a cloud. You know powerlessness right there. Wishing and hoping is not going to make it rain. You can’t entice or seduce or implore it to happen. Nothing is going to make it rain except some eventual cycle of nature.

Again the day ended with a promisingly deeply black sky moving in late in the afternoon. The temperature dropped as the thick cover of cloud loomed and menaced. We could see it falling onto the hills in the distance, sheets of grey between the earth and the sky. We hurried up to the house from the creek flat, full of the anticipation of the sound of rain as we sat by the fire, breathing in the moister air and wondering if we would make it inside in time, whether we had enough dry wood and had we picked the greens for dinner? Then nothing.