Melomys tidal wetlands, January and March, 2017
Several weeks after the December fires had passed, we returned to Melomy's and in some places, the peat-ish ground was still smouldering. This time we ranged the scrub down on the tidal edge way south. The colours were all blacks, ochres, oxides, and the pristine talc-white of soft ash, in long ruled lines, where trees had fallen and burnt. Below the surface, clay mixed with sand and held an alarming volume of water in some places. Beyond the muddy shore with its pats of drying algae, you could see across to unnamed mangrove shores, and beyond that, the unlikely noise of water traffic.
At one moment we stood alert and watchful like meerkats as we became aware of the crunch and crackle of a tree ripping away from its hold on the ground. It crashed somewhere close by and we all convened from our separate working places to do a head count. We were making our fragile offerings in a forest of falling trees.