Whenever we mentioned winter and a yearning for rain, our neighbours would offer wry smiles and allusions to sticky slicks of mud and the appearance of mysterious bogs. The Bureau of Meteorology predicted rain for the Fleurieu. So we went camping.
It all started optimistically enough. We were joined by some friends to do a bit of work. We went to an exhibition and a historic walking tour in Second Valley. We finished clearing stray rubbish from one of the creeks, and settled in for the evening, watching the sun set through a few stray wisps of cloud (see above).
At 4.00am, the rain started. After three hours, the tent’s seams began to leak and water pooled in low points on the floor. Every hollow and cow print filled with water, then overflowed. We retreated to the car, then decided we’d try to head out until the rain eased. The car slid across patches of sticky, grey mud, wheels spinning until it came to rest 40 metres from the front gate.
With help from a neighbour, the ute was hauled back to the safety of the bitumen road, and we packed up our gear and retreated to a warm, dry place. The rain kept falling (see top image, of rainclouds rolling in over Lady Bay, near Normanville).
The day after, the rain had soaked in. The pupal cases of moths (perhaps the Rain Moth (Trictena atripalpis)) stood empty in the damp ground, their residents taken flight. The cracks in the clay have softened and narrowed, and in some areas there already seemed to be a few optimistic green blades of grass. Soon it will be time to plant trees.