There is a sandy field near my house. I know it’s summer by the rhythmic clicks of a lone insect that dances in and out of earshot over the tips of its low-lying scrub. I know it’s summer by the high chatter of the swifts that have returned to their mud nests under the eaves of the houses that line the field. They skim low like the lone insect only to sweep up across the summer sky. 

This sky is a strong flat blue. Only the white ribbing of high-level moisture and the lower feathery wisps of ocean-blown clouds give it any depth. 

At the furthest edge of the field there is a wide expanse where only a few months ago a wetland appeared and drew flamingos and blue cranes to its shallows. The water is long gone now, and dry grass heads shimmer in its place.

Photo: Jo Jackson