Well, it finally hit. Rain! And unexpected to me. They had forecast rain on Wednesday and apparently we got it, but of course I was working. Last night, however, the heavens opened and I woke in the early hours to rain!

And that’s where extreme comes into things. Australia has always been known as the land of the extremes. From Mt Kosciusko and its snowy region to the Great Sandy Desert, to the Great Barrier Reef – all part of the Smallest Continent or the Largest Island, whichever you choose to call our artistic land. I call it an artistic land because so much of it seems to have been created with the painter, the drawer, the sculptor in mind.

But our weather can also be extreme. While we don’t experience anything near the destructive forces of the US’s tornadoes, our weather can go from one extreme to the other in one day. A popular saying for when you’re in Melbourne, Victoria, is – if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes and it’ll change. If you still don’t like it, wait another 10 minutes and it’ll change to something else.

I’ve walked across a rail overpass in Melbourne in February and thought ‘maybe I could come back. Maybe I can live here again’. And then the northerly hit. The temperature felt like it went from about 30 degrees Celsius to 42 degrees Celsius in less than 30 seconds. With high humidity. I retracted my statement. I’d rather have 36 degrees Celsius in a dry heat than humidity.

I could talk about our wildlife, but it just suddenly occurred to me – they can be scary. And so can some of our plants.

And that’s the last thing I want to do – scare people off. The main thing about our plants and wildlife? Treat them with respect and they will leave you alone. In fact, some of the wildlife are downright friendly if you are friendly to them.

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