The season’s first stuttering “skeet, sekeet, sekeee” of a cicada this afternoon confirms it all: Sprummer has peaked.
This is the time of year that makes callow dryland dairy farmers like me uneasy. You never know for sure when the rain gods will turn off the tap but the signs have been there for weeks now. The boys at the Bureau hedge their bets with increasingly vague forecasts and it all seems to depend on where the next thunderstorm might settle.
As agronomist Scott remarked today, our farm looks great from the road though he couldn’t imagine how fast I am sending the cows around the paddocks, driving the seed heads further down the shafts of the rye. The growth has slowed, the spring steel posts are harder and harder to drive through firming soil and I know that the drift from green to gold is just around the corner. We seem to be having a strange sort of ersatz El Nino.
Just like ageing, Summer-proper is inevitable. One day, I’ll be a proper farmer too; one who embraces every change of season for its own beauty. Until then, I’ll simply have to take solace in chocolate and children.