The recent foray in search of a good foreground for the magnificent background of the Milky Way took me to the Mallee. This word describes a habitat type and the region of Victoria where that habitat once stretched to the horizon in all directions.
Mallee trees are eucalypts usually slender and not very tall. They tend to be multi-stemmed. They are found on light soils and are extremely well adapted to fire, resprouting from underground lignotubers after a wildfire has gone through.
In the Mallee region much of the land has been cleared for agriculture and the winter crop here is mainly wheat. This summer has been as dry as a Nun’s … Australian English is rich in metaphors, most of them rude, best I just say very dry.
The word rain, though, had been mentioned in the weather forecast and farmers were out optimistically disturbing their top soil.
Widespread rain fell in Victoria the following day and was very very welcome.