Last winter Dowse Lagoon nearly dried up completely. The water- and swamp-plants died back, and green pick was hard to find. Every day, groups of purple swamphens would forage in the grassy parks nearby. The lawn grass around here is the sort with underground runners. The swamphens would tug these runners up with their beaks, then hold them in an over-large foot while daintily picking bits off. It was easy to sketch them while they were out in the open.
Now it is autumn, and the big rains have come. The swamphens are mostly hidden, luxuriating in the abundant greenery that has grown back in and around the lagoon.