In the dry

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It is a very dry spring. Distant fires have burned for weeks, and each week I look eagerly at the weather forecast, hoping that a 20% chance of rain due in days might gradually increase.

The lower dam has dried up. Vivid green grasses and moss are growing in the damp dirt that remains, forming a circle around the bare patch where the last traces of water disappeared a week ago. Deep cracks have formed in the dry mud. The upper dam still holds a little water, but it is the lowest it has ever been in our 12 years living here.

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Recently we have had evenings where the air has been thick with smoke from fires, the sun a violent and vivid orange as it approaches the horizon, glowering through the murky air. The humidity is low, the days so hot and dry that you can take washing in a couple of hours after hanging it out.

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I saw this koala moving across the ground from the verandah. Squinting at it without my glasses on, I initially thought it was a small dog, but quickly realised my mistake. It climbed a small tree next to the lower dam, and stayed still as we tiptoed closer for a look. Later in the day it moved to a higher tree, comfortably nestled in a crook between two branches, and stayed for a couple of days before moving on during the night. I keep gazing up into the trees each morning to see if it has returned, but I suspect it was moving through the area looking for a mate, and has now journeyed onwards.

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