I came across this post today whilst looking for something else. Thought I’d share.
Water drips in fat splashy drops from every leaf of every tree. It stopped raining half an hour ago, but it’s never dry. Won’t be for months. We’re right in the middle of the wet season, after the humid, temper-inducing build up, and before the violent storms of the knock ‘em down season. Over a couple of months, the heavens are dumping their annual load of rain on Australia’s tropical far north. We fall asleep to the thundering of torrential rain on our canvas roof, which almost, but not quite, drowns out the crickets, frogs and other noisy nocturnal creatures. We wake up to the gentle pattering of drops on the deck outside. Throughout the day, rain comes in waves, sometimes a fine mist that settles on your hair like dew, sometimes so heavy that it’s like standing under a dinner-plate sized shower head on the needley setting. Occasionally, the rumble of thunder adds a bass note to the music of constant dripping and splashing.
Nothing, is dry. The grass squelches as you walk, noisily sucking flip flops from feet, mud splattering up bare legs. Clothes remain damp, day after day and mould creeps furtively across any surface that doesn’t move. Sometimes the fierce tropical sun burns its way brightly through the heavy grey clouds, scenting the damp, steamy air with warm eucalyptus.
The rain performs magic tricks on the landscape. Grass seeds that lie dormant in the cracked, red earth during the dry, suddenly shoot into poker straight, rusty pink and pale green spears, taller than a man, obscuring giant termite mounds and providing shelter for venomous snakes. Trickling creeks become swollen torrents, drowning bridges and turning a gentle walk into an Indiana Jones adventure. Roads and swimming holes are closed, as crocs take advantage of the rushing water to make their way from the coast into the deep interior. Tiny flowers of every colour bloom for a short season. Earth that’s organgey red when dry, takes on the colours of ancient rust and livid purple bruises.
We have the place to ourselves, everyone else is scared off by the rain. Mile upon mile of stunning impenetrable forest teeming with wildlife, the noise of flowing water the constant soundtrack to our days. I feel very privileged to be here now, alone, in this beautiful place. But I’m glad we’re not here in the knock ‘em down season.