Plink ... plink ... plink. Raindrops shiver the surface of the small garden pond. In a protected spot, a raft of bubbles, each containing a black spot, will soon become hundreds of tadpoles. The striped marshfrogs were busy in the night.
A racket of noisy miners flies past, hot on the tail of a blue-faced honeyeater. They must be nesting nearby. The "Mickies" leave and the honeyeater settles in to feed on the red pom-poms of the calliandra tree. There's a splashing in the birdbath - a noisy miner has returned for a good wing-wash.
I sit on the back stairs, self-satisfied. The flowers I planted at the start of Spring are blooming between the herbs and fruit trees. Pansies, petunias, blue salvia and daisies. And the year-to-year "stayers" are also flowering ... gay yellow nasturtiums that always make me smile; the strong red statement of hippeastrum trumpets; and many others.
The Greek spinach and amaranth (glitha), given to me by my neighbour, still self-seed every year, as do chillies, cherry tomatoes, mustard greens, flat-leaf parsley and lots more. And they usually do it in the pathways mulched with coconut coir - oh, like the zebra bean I've just noticed growing between two stepping stones. The smell of freshly laid lucerne mulch, now rain-soaked, fills the air. The earthworms will be loving this.
The newly planted avocado and strawberry guava trees seem to be settling in well. The gramichama planted last year looks grand. It and the lilly-pilly get a gorgeous flush of pink new growth that gradually changes to a glossy green. They have all joined the tamarillo, lemon, lime and pawpaws planted a lot earlier. I have room for one more tree I reckon ... a pomegranate perhaps.
Soon my tiny back garden will be a food forest with its understorey of herbs and passionfruit vines. A canopy of green creating a cool space in the suburbs.
A pumpkin vine has self-seeded from buried scraps. Even though there is no room for it, I'll let it grow towards the fence where it can climb and stay out of trouble.
A turtledove has secreted itself among the leaves of the calliandra looking for a nesting site; and a red pom-pom dropped by a pale-headed rosella has been caught in the leaves of the tree fern - an early Christmas bauble.
Ah, a cup of peppermint tea and herb muffins would be perfect now.