Abundance of Everything

This summer, with all the rain, our garden has burst into life again. Trees are thrusting out crowds of leaves, creepers shoot out tendrils, weeds sprout overnight, grass swarms up between the bricks, flowers erupt.

There are flocks of birds, chattering in the flowering gums, spattering my nice clean washing with their poo, swooping between the trees and sometimes smashing into our big window - blackbirds, wattle birds, rainbow lorikeets. In the evenings, swarms of mosquitoes lie in wait to ambush innocent ankles. Beetles, flies, slaters, mantises, snails are all more visible than in previous years.

And then there are the spiders.

Alice is terrified of spiders. And this year, they are EVERYWHERE. Some days it seems that every ceiling corner has its own resident daddy-long-legs. Tiny jumping spiders appear from nowhere. I've found a red-back inside a watering-can. Overnight, webs spring up inside shoes and across doorways; they drape themselves over picture frames. I have to carry out a nightly spider check before Alice can turn off her bedroom light. We're not even supposed to use the word 'spider' -- for some reason, she prefers the term 'black snake,' though personally, I know which I'd rather find inside my gumboot.

But I'm not complaining. After the last few parched years, it's lovely to be surrounded by all this eager, pulsating life. Even the black snakes are welcome.

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