It is the season of summer storms, throngs of people and noisy cicadas.
Cloud and humidity flag a lot of our days.
Our afternoons flaunt a grand drama of jagged slivers and sheets of lightning, great rumbles of thunder and blessed rain.
Our valleys are green with bales rolled up in paddocks.
The threat of fire recedes.
My neighbour Christa talks of making a ‘jenny craig’ paddock for her cows.
Vegies are thriving and markets are stuffed with home grown produce.
Roads stream with winnebago’s, boats, caravans and dogs leaning out car windows.
Brightly coloured holidaymakers wander our beaches and villages.
Campgrounds crowded with sandcastles and wave riders, barbeques and fishing yarns.
Roy sits on a bench in the main street watching the world go by; happy to chat about the weather, the time of day, and his memories of people and place.
Busier than last year for some and not so busy for others.
A relative thing then.
Cicadas have been particularly deafening this summer.
At mystery bay campground there was a couple of six-year-old lads from Wollongong, Ari and Harley. I was on my way to Billy’s beach for a swim and they were sitting on the side of the track with a cardboard carton chockablock of cicada shells. A sign ‘ ci c d a shells $1, live nice one $50.
The nice one was a green grocer in a separate plastic container.
How’s it going?
$2 so far, says Ari who admitted that Harley had done most of the collecting. They demonstrated how a shell can cling onto your t-shirt.
That’s cool, a brooch! I said.
They gave me a puzzled look.
Oh never mind.
The forest is also summer busy.
The warm air thick with frog chorus, birdsong and fragrance.
White thorn bush, angophora, titree and buddleia flower.
Butterflies dragonflies mossies are all on the go.
Leeches will be next to appear.
Turtles bask on logs at the edge of dams and echidnas snuffle their noses into likely spots.
The black swamp wallabies keep court around the house – they are coming up onto the verandah for the grape leaves standing up on tippy toes to pull a leaf down within reach.
Honeyeaters hang about on bottlebrush and grevillea.
Goannas large and small stalk the more interesting smells and a black snake comes out early before the rain and curls up on bricks outside the kitchen window.
Water skinks prowl house and verandah – I have taken to keeping a wooden spoon in the sink and a branch in the bathtub so they can climb out – smooth surfaces not their strong point.
Come night dark silent shapes swoop through the trees.
Wombats ever curious make deposits on any changes they identify in the bush.
Possums run the roof using it as a launching pad for their dinner activities.
Life in the forest never switches off; there is always a murmur, a rustle, a peep, a creak, a whisper, always, Always Life going about its Busyness.