I don't suppose it's any more dangerous
driving with a photographer than it is with someone just
enjoying the scenery. I don't suppose...
Ok, who am I kidding. It's a lot more dangerous
especially when the afternoon light turns yellow and slips
across the long dry grass I've been meaning to stop and
record for weeks. I
get to thinking ahead for where I can get off the road
safely and how much notice the car tail-gating behind will
need to react, all the while making soft 'ohhh' "yes!"
noises to Jan's amusement. Of course it's distracting but I
stopped safely, not disturbing too much the line of cars
behind traveling to the coast for the long weekend.
Before Christmas there was some hay making on the flats
and those paddocks have started to re-grow. They stand out
because they are still touched with an underlying green. It
seemed almost that the rain and strong growth caught
everyone by surprise after the drought. There's not enough
stock to keep the grass down (the few cows in some paddocks
are almost hidden, the grass is so tall). The paddocks have
taken on a uniform soft blonde colour from the grass seed
heads and as you drive along it looks like the hills are
covered with a soft fur. It blurs the edges of things, such
as fence lines and there are a couple of shallow eroded
gullies that now have soft contoured edges. In the strong
winds we've had, you also get the classic 'waves on the
prairie' patterns. You can feel it's all alive.
In the last week I've watched that even pale colour
changing a bit. Patches of orange are starting to show, the
seed heads are dropping and the stalks beneath showing
through. Driving to and from work I've been thinking that if
I'm going to photograph, it will have to be soon. Coming
home tonight from work, a bit later than usual for a Friday
night, I was driving with a headache from the last miserable
bit of flu, but I knew it was time.
Twenty minutes in the ozone charged air ahead of a
thunderstorm, and another stop for a couple more pictures,
I'd forgotten the headache and felt great. The working week
was done, I was home.
I like living here. Winter and summer.