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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Trees and more trees

A fun fact about me: In years past my nickname was TinaTrees, because I helped make a life size tree for a local amateur theatre production of Camelot.  I wasn't the only one working on it but somehow I became associated with it in people's minds. It turned into a major thing, making that tree. King Arthur had to be able to climb around in it, and Merlin had to jump out of a hollow in it with a flash of fire, and yet it still had to be able to be wheeled out at the scene change. I worked backstage on that production too and it was the best fun!  We out the back in the dark all sang our heads off along with the onstage chorus through the whole thing, and I think I cried every night at the scene where Arthur finds out about Guinevere and Lancelot, and laughed every night at the jokes too.  It was a wonderful production. 

Anyway, it's funny that I got that nickname for making a fake tree when I love real trees so much, and yet they didn't know that at the time.  :)

It has been a very tree-y week here. First up, this is the view across our neighbour's place from our north fence-line. I have a love-hate thing going with that pink grass. It is so pretty especially when the light shines through it, but it came in with those little Liquidambers there, I think, and man is it invasive!  Every year the patch gets bigger and it seems to keep seeding for the whole of Autumn/Winter/Spring.  I am going to have to fight hard to keep it off our land, but it hasn't yet quite made it to the fenceline, so for now I just look at it and glory, and worry at the same time.  :)   

Autumn is tree planting time here.  It gives the babies time to establish their roots ready for the dry summers.  Our local Shire does a very commendable and well-organised programme to help people restore the local native canopy and understory.  Each year people register and get given seedlings, and volunteers help to hand them out.  Mum and I signed up to help for one morning this year.

Look at all these lovely babies waiting to go to their new homes!
That's mum there in the second picture, with the volunteer organiser, Jolene.  I tell you what, if you want to meet the nicest and best people in your community, go volunteer at something.  Volunteers rock!

Here are some babies of my favorite tree, the Jarrah. Don't worry babies, soon you will be in the ground and able to thrive and hopefully grow into giants!

And there's me, since I looked unusually neat that day and should get a record of it.  :)

Tree news from Moy-Mel isn't all good.  The Queen Jarrah looks terrible after the Cockatoos came in and savaged her for her gumnuts.  There have been a lot of fires this year and food stocks are lowered due to this, so I think the trees that they can still use for food are taking more of a beating than usual.  I wish they wouldn't bite off all the branch tips as they feed.  They have balded her! I'm not sure she will recover fully from this.  She was already struggling both physically and in spirit.  This is not a happy tree.
In the foreground there is our little gift Liquidamber from mum, which has made it through its first year. It is going to be a very good one for colour!

In other more cheerful news, I got a photo of the amazing beehive we currently have up there.  They are settled on the outside of this tall Marri tree.  Can you see the combs growing down the tree, and the big bunch of bees at the bottom?  I was amazed.

The spot they have nested in is actually a scar from Marri canker, another thing our local trees are facing. Can you see the second big scar further down the trunk? It is natural to them, but with climate change the added stresses are letting this fungus beat the trees and we have no cure for it.   Depressing.  I sometimes wonder how my beloved Jarrah/Marri dryland forest will look in twenty years time, or if it will exist at all.

And here is smiley Rosie to cheer me up.

And here are mum and I out planting with the Friends of Black Cockatoo Reserve group.  That is Flossy I have there, who belongs to another member.  Even if I don't take my own dogs I end up getting down and doggy!  She is a total sweetheart and so soft to pat.

We have been on another controlled burn since my last newsy post. A night one this time.  I love this one of Andrew.
I guess you might wonder why someone who loves trees as much as I do might be willing to set fire to them.  Well, I stopped my car on the way home the other day to photograph this scene only a kilometre or so away from our cottage.
This is where a huge fire went through a little over a year ago.  Those trees are nearly all dead.  Aussie trees tend to be very fire proof, but not when the fire is as fierce as this one was.  Over 40 homes were burned down, and many of the trees will not recover.  And that is why I am willing to light low temperature fires that we control and that the trees are quite capable of recovering from.

And at home, here are my very own babies for this year, awaiting their chance to go into the ground and become trees too. The cycle of life goes on!

While the kitty sleeps on and dreams of summer... 



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks very much, John. It was only a dream but, oh, it felt so real!


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