As spring arrives, I take a few short walks near the house in the bush where I spend the weekend. What used to be a pleasant stroll through spotted gums, iron bark and burrawangs has become an edgy traipse through hacked-about bush, inexpertly burned. It is, after all, state forest.
The colours of early spring in this part of the bush are purple (hardenbergia vine), pale blue (dianella), yellow (a couple of species of eggs and bacon, and the unopened flowers of the geebung), white rising out of pink, and the reds and oranges and browny-maroons of fresh-growth tips.
I have no desire to revisit the ruination again on Sunday, so I walk through the reserve near the Tuross River. There, it is green under towering casuarinas, with the fading flowers of wattle, an infestation of blue periwinkle and the alien pink of peach blossom. The brown river moves along at a gurgle at the bottom of steep banks. Woven round the farm fence on the other side of the road are large pods of milk vine, bursting with white thistledown, and on the way back home yarding posts draped with native wisteria.