Late spring is an almost perfect time in Adelaide. Bursts of heat are followed by mild days and the occasional drop of rain.

At this time of year, the footpaths and roads are a sea of purple-blue as the jacarandas drop their spent flowers below. Petals, squashed and bruised and crushed underfoot, still call their siren song to the bees, who buzz inches off the ground, collecting what nectar they can. The purple-blue carpet lies like shadow songs under giant trees where pea-green leaves pray to the sun. I stir the petals as I pass, careful of the bees and their stinging, homely beauty.

I look out my bedroom window at the wash of red. The bottle brushes, not to be outdone by their South African cousins, fling their scarlet petal-fronds into the nooks and crannies of footpaths and flower pots and verandahs. Spiders weave their webs around the fronds they’ve collected, building elaborate wispy-strong mazes of shelter and shame.

Leaves, dry and curled and silvered by the pounding of the sun, swirl around my front door with the red petal-fronds. I grab my millet broom, and sweep nature’s debris away from my verandah, back to the garden where ants and worms and bugs bury themselves in it gleefully, thankful for its return.

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