Saturday, December 11, 2010

Br’er Malamute and the briar patch

Bright frosty days

Oh the mornings are cold now. –4C. Which is about the lowest temp I experienced as a kid in the south-west slopes of NSW, giving an annual temperature range of over 45 degrees C. The best way for me to warm up in the mornings is to do a bit of work outside, so with axe and clippers I’ve crossed the chicken-wire into the mess around the lake which has not been pruned back in well over three years.

Once I got past the nettles, I’ve got blackberry to deal with. Until I started hacking my way through the foliage – slowly, because everywhere a huge thorny tendril would snarl and scratch me through my clothing – I had no idea how much there was to do. However I do relish these sorts of cleanup challenges, and a few hours seemed to pass as quickly as scratches and nettle burns accumulated on my wrists between glove and sleeve. Munson contented himself poking around the shores of the lake, occasionally returning to see if I’d made any rabbit holes more accessible to him. He wasn’t going to chase Br’er Rabbit down into this briar patch.

By lunchtime the air-temperature has warmed up to maybe 12C, although my outdoor thermometer faces the sun and has crawled from –4 to an astonishing 19C. I’m down to a single layer of clothing through my exertions, and just now starting to appreciate what a fine spot I’m going to have by this lake. The sun is reaching parts of the northern bank for the first time in years, and although it’s a wintry light dappling the water, it’s warm and just so peaceful in this private garden with a view down across the vineyards and a pale outline of the distant mountains. Finally, with a non-thorny place to sit, Munson leaves his lapine pursuits to curl up at my side and sing for a belly-rub. Of course.

I do love to be beside the lakeside, beside the lake

1 comment:

  1. Wow, a high of 12º. Our high yesterday was just under 7º, and that was unusually warm. We'll be hovering around zero at best for the next few days.