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I've returned from travels to an unfamiliar dry world. The marris fade into a shimmer of white and the grass is every shade of taupe. Swirls of hot breeze circulate like dragon's breath, the sun glowers from a cerulean sky tinged in white.

Restless dreams punctuate a too hot night. I waken with unquenchable thirst from a stupor of jetlag and overall apprehension and step out into a placid night. Nothing stirs. The world still exhales the warm vapor of yesterday's exertion. Middle of the night and I'm sweating.

I gobble cold cold cold rainwater, gasping with the sheer pleasure of it. Water! I'm swearing from drinking it. Is this not strange?

First light finds me barefoot and moving. A lone magpie trills to the end of the moonless night, blue dawn counting down to sun's blast. The vines cocooned by nets radiate a wall of cool. Sanctuary at last. 

Lone male kangaroo chowing on new malbec plantings clomps away, turns, scrutinizes me. He's been uninterrupted for ages and now assumes this is his spot. I note where he's pushed up against the nets and had a munch of grapes. The ground is decorated with his poops. Oh well, enough for all.

And then the sun reaches through the trees like god's spotlight and the temperature spikes immediately and I'm back in Sweatville-Australia and can barely think.

I duck beneath cover of net and taste my way through rows of Chardonnay. It's very far along and sweet, with complex flavors and plenty o'acid. We'll be picking soon.

Sun barely up and I'm in Hades. Bring on autumn and harvest and what's next. Please.