Roadside cactus jungle
It was the kind of heat that dried out your skin and chapped your lips, the kind you had to wade through, where each step is laboured by the waves of heat that enveloped your whole body. Balmy summer nights set in after the sun went down late, the cooler breeze gave you goosebumps, and sometimes brought the rain along too.

I'd never experienced dry heat before. It made you sweat in a way that made you feel healthy, pooling at the small of your back, and treated by diving under the waters of the Murray River. There was no hesitation upon jumping in, the relief the water brought left us speechless and there was no need to exchange words. We  proceeded to lie naked on it's shore for an hour or two and dive under once we were warmed again by the sun. The cool water pushed it's strong current against us and pulled debris along with it that would travel it's length, or get caught in a snag of tree roots along it's shore. White cockatoos weaved between the dense bush, crying out as they flew over us in massive flocks, sometimes gliding down to a visible branch which was immersed in water to drink. 
I felt like I wasn't really awake, when I was underwater I pulled my arms through the current, coming up for air which my lungs sucked in and let out. It was if I was dreaming, the heat dulled me down although the water awoke my senses, everything had this hazy clarity about it. Our heads were in the sky and we lazed in the water, in the heat, and soaked up the day, like lizards do on steaming rocks. 

It was a few months ago now that I flew down to country Victoria to visit my best friend Tayla. Out of the plane window as we lowered from the clouds I peered down at the great plains of brown earth. It was as if a massive brown patched quilt had been thrown down from the sky over the mountains and land, which dipped down into massive gauges that zigzagged the earth, cutting it like a knife would a cake. Then it soaked into rivers and changed to a green colour, sprouting roads, cars and buildings. We grew closer to landing, industrial places and suburban houses appeared as if white tic-tacs had been scattered over the quilt. Then the quilt turned into Melbourne, and then into an airport, and I experienced possibly the worst landing I ever have, where in a moment I thought to myself: "Hm, maybe we're not going to stop this morning."

Dry grass dream

Tayla lives next door to a cherry farm which surrounds her property and is one of the biggest distributors in the country. Sadly cherries aren't in season during summer so I wasn't able to run down the rows and binge on one of my favourite fruits! 
We ran a muck along the Murray, kayaking for a few hours one day and swimming in it nearly every day. It brought us significant relief from the heat of the day and was conveniently not even a five minute drive away. We rode Tay's horse Chicka together and lapped her paddocks along the fence line while the sun was slipping down. Her mum drove us around to wineries and we got drunk on tasters after visiting several while attempting to keep it together while talking to the experts. It was so wonderful to see Tay again in her current location, and explore the small town she is living in. Now she's working on a tomato farm near by and saving her pennies for her travels. Here are some of our moments together on 35mm film, enjoy.

On our way to Tay's after she got me from the airport (which 3 hours from her home)

Chika the Horse
Once a horse gal, always a horse gal

Murray River Series

My toes touch the edge...
And I trust it to hold me...
Water races down the back of my throat

Immersing my body into it's mass consumes me, and I become aware of everything surrounding me
Dreaming, light filters through my eyelids, colours and shapes dance in front of me,
time ceases to exist...

Love, Chlo x