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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Friday 15 November 2002 (Day View)

15.11.2002Friday 15 November

The morning dawned clear and dusty, with not a drop of rain in sight. The sun beat down upon the dust; the dust mites ran and played. The trees shivered in their leaves, fearing the worst, as smoke curled lazily in the air from the myriads of fires still smouldering. Their leaves roll and curl, dropping to the ground as sorrowful as tears from a weeping Madonna, while the white cockatoos wheel and cry like crows coming in to feed from the still-living carcasses of drought-stricken trees, stripping them of their only hope – their blossoms.
  As I walk outside the guardian cockatoo cries, and the whole flock lifts from the treetops and, with mocking cries, flies off into the brazen and unforgiving sky. A scrub-hen chases another scrub hen, while her mate looks on. They are fighting as they are drawn ever closer together into each other’s territory in their incessant and increasingly urgent search for enough food to fill their withering gullets.
  A car drives by, billowing cloud upon cloud of thick dust onto the already choking trees by the roadside, and then filters its way through and into the yard, settling densely on everything. A dog barks in the distance, and another answers it.
  I sneeze, as I walk inside and look around for breakfast.
  The road, freshly graded and shaped, is a river of dust. Every car that drives by sends waves of it swelling outwards and downwind, suffocating everything and inflaming my nose. A lonesome sprinkler fights forlornly with the dust, an uneven and unfair battle it is doomed to lose. The very land itself prays for rain, its thirst calling out to the hard sky above. The sky answers with a baking heat, sucking what little moisture is left out of the trees, which one by one are withering up and dying. Trees which are forty years old are giving up. The drought has hit hard, it is frightening to think that this is normally one of the wettest places in Australia. Silas tells me that it looks like storming in Brisbane, as he discusses his exams, his stress levels and his inability to cope – meanwhile attempting to study. This reminds me that I need to phone the Bell View and make reservations, just in case they’re full – tourists can be fickle and hard to predict. Shan rides over on his motorbike, red from the sun and in a cloud of orange dust, mingled with blue smoke from his bike. The sun’s beating heat has abated some as the day draws to a close, but the parched dryness and the dust are ever-present and pitiless.
  The forecast says it will rain tomorrow.

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