You Don't Get Skies Like This in China

Would you look at that sky? 

This week I've been 'out bush'. Australia, vast country that it is, is subdivided neatly by most of us into 'the beach' - the narrow rim around the edge of this whole enormous island where 95% of the population lives - and 'the bush', namely everything else. I imagine Chinese tourists in Australia find the bush terrifying, what with all that empty, empty space, and almost no people, and all manner of life-threatening wildlife. I love it.

I always need to get back to the bush whenever I visit home, if even for a short time, and luckily my parents-in-law have a farm in the bush we can visit anytime. It's a vineyard too, which is a mighty incentive to get there as often as possible (I wrote about Tobin wines last year).

Parts of the vineyard are farmed, obviously, but the rest is wild and lovely bushland full of kangaroos, wallabies, goannas and snakes (OK, so the snakes are not lovely and I meet them more often than I'd like, but it's winter now, so they're all hibernating. But I'm definitely not going to be lifting up any rocks to check they're properly asleep).

Here's a few photos from the farm, from early morning to dusk. I'm sure after seeing them you'll understand why I get homesick for the Australian bush.

 Early morning frost.

The mist burns off by mid-morning, revealing a clear blue sky down at the creek.

In summer, we swim up and down this waterhole. There's a native beehive in a hollow of the big old tree on the opposite bank, too high for us to reach.

The old almond tree has burst into flower, next to one of the old figs, still bare.

The peach trees are just beginning to flower too.

Late afternoon, rain threatens, but the clouds pass without a drop falling.

We walk back through the vineyard to the house, startling a group of pink galahs.

Dusk falls. Time to crack open a bottle of wine, I think.

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