High columns of flying ants on the move pick up the morning sun that gives the see-through assemblage a bronze glow. The River is loud! A Spotted Sandpiper is at The Stockpond, only a few weeks after the last one was seen, but now such a visit would be more expected as the birds start to move perhaps all the way to the Southern Hemisphere. It takes a long time to get to Chile, might as well leave now. Summer is hardly about to end, but the days trickle from her, neither is Autumn about to begin, but her whisper is there. If one tramps these pastures and the grasslands over years, feels the sun and comes tuned to the subtly changing angle of its light, there comes a day of a sixth sense that brings one of those whispers: “And the Red-winged Grasshoppers? They’re about to be here …” I look down only moments after having this thought, see on a bare patch of dirt a set of scarlet and black wings that can only have belonged to one, its body already cut up by ants and carried away by them.
A magnificent sky for the whole morning, clouds towering into blue, thunder far off and harmless now but giving fair warning. By noon is a fearful storm, by sunset the clouds drift apart, and openings show sky again. I get home to Ridge House and find the great cliffs of the Galiuro Wilderness shining alabaster in sun, against the dark storm beyond them in this landscape that can only be called gigantic, one in which man’s size still shows true: small.