Weeds are growing tall and thick around the shattered ruins of the homestead where four generations of the Corby family have lived at Wandella, in the hills behind fire-ravaged Cobargo on the NSW far South Coast.
The burnt-out house was one of six in the immediate area which were destroyed in the Badja Forest Road bushfire - the "beast" from the mountains - which tore through the farming hamlet last New Year's Eve.
Now the rolling hills of Wandella are grassy once more and many gum trees show their resilience with fresh growth emerging from their blackened trunks and limbs.
And yet the air still carries the faint whiff of charcoal and many scarred areas remain where the trees and vegetation are still too traumatised for regrowth.
Cross Wandella Creek and there, in the ditch, still sits half of the Ford Falcon ripped asunder and tossed 800 metres by the inferno-fed mini-tornado which bounced and swirled in the flame-forced air.
Just a few hills away, the same bushfire resulted in the death of two local farmers and stalwarts of the community - Robert Salway, 63, and his son, Patrick, 29 - who were attempting to save their home and their dairy but were trapped in the conflagration.
From atop the Wandella ridge where his parents and grandparents' house sits in ruin, he can glimpse the now-cleared site where his own home once stood.
"It [the fire] messed with my head for a month or so; I'd have these nightmares thinking the house was on fire and I'd be up and be out of bed," he said.
Unlike his own rebuilding project, which is now the subject of a wrangle with his bank and insurer, the Corbys' generational home on McDonald Road remains uncleared because asbestos had been found on the site while the clean-up crews went in a few weeks ago.
"It [the asbestos] wasn't from here; we think it blew into our property from the neighbours' place when the firestorm hit," Jade Corby said.
"So all the clearing of the site has stopped until they bring people out to reassess. And we don't know how long that could take."
If the ruined family home and burnt infrastructure - including his charred project cars which were too damaged and had to go to the scrappers - were not enough of a reminder of that fateful night, in the dam farm below is the remains of his FJ Holden ute, picked up and tossed 400 metres down the hill by the firestorm.
Like many people in Cobargo and the surrounding area where hundreds of homes were destroyed, Jade Corby is frustrated by the slow recovery time.
"We had a fair bit of activity here in the weeks after [the bushfire]; a lot of people pitched in which was great," he said.
"Everyone had lost perimeter fences so the Blaze Aid people were in the area for about three weeks helping out.
"But still, I spent every cent I had had just to fence my property and this [family] one. There's not much choice; you can't do without them [fences].
"When the coronavirus hit, things didn't exactly stop dead but it really put the brakes on."
Jade Corby is thankful his small welding and fabrication business in Bega has still been able to operate through the pandemic, with component supply for the new Batemans Bay bridge an important contract.
Getting back home as soon as possible is his goal and like all farming properties, it needs equipment and infrastructure to keep going. He bought a second-hand tractor to replace the one lost to the fire.
"There's always heaps to do on the farm feeding the animals and I'm still bucketing water to fill the cattle troughs," he said.
"We've put a deposit on a transportable home because we figured that's the quickest way to get back on the farm again and not have to travel back and forth all the time."
His perspective now on what happened that awful night five months ago is phlegmatic.
"The way I look at it now, this was a once-in-a-lifetime fire. You just push on and do the best you can to get your life back on track," he said.
One pleasant surprise for Jade Corby in the months after the bushfires was an unusual gift from his wife.
It is a portrait of his face, painted by Sydney artist Lucy Vader, who was so struck by the January front page photograph in The Canberra Times, originally captured by photographer Dion Georgopoulos, that the artist was inspired to re-interpret it.
It was the first-ever portrait done by Ms Vader and was sitting in the window of her street studio in Manilla, 50km north-west of Tamworth, where it was spotted and through social media, news of its existence reached the NSW far South Coast.
The stunning oil painting was sold at a huge discount by the artist, who has donated thousands of dollars to needy South Coast families affected by the bushfires.