trees

Mt Kaputar National Park in north-west New South Wales is rugged, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. The mainly agricultural countryside here is very flat, so the Nandewar Range and its volcanic rock sentinels are distinctive — and old. It’s estimated that the volcanic activity that formed them was 17-21 million years ago. At 1510 metres above sea […]

It’s untypically dry here, even the short grass between the beige tussocks is brown. The air is smoky; the ever-forecast rain does not materialise. I am mowing firebreaks, crew-cutting the tussocks and blady grass, mulching sticks and gum leaves as I go. And I am pumping day and night (it’s a very slow but sturdy […]

I have always wanted to visit these mountains. About 100 kilometres from Toowoomba, they are home to the world’s largest stand of the ancient and mighty Bunya Pines. Partly because I love mountains, and partly because everything about these trees is so impressive, from their football sized cones and seriously spiky leaves to the legendary feasts […]

The leaves have fallen from many of my garden trees and vines, so the seed pods are spectacularly visible. This White Cedar tree is a rare deciduous native, Melia Azedarach, often called Persian Lilac for its flowers, but also Bead Tree, for the now-obvious reason. They are indigenous to my region, amongst many others. I […]

The walk below the cliff face at Woko National Park is all about green. Rock-edged paths wound up and down through the greenish light, as if in a carefully designed garden. Not just green leaves, but mossed and lichened trunks and roots and vines, some of which curl like serpents around rocks and trees. Thus […]

Sometimes your eyes are drawn skywards by Nature doing the same; sometimes they have to be guided. Recently I visited some sandstone ridge country, very different from my own, hence a fascinating new world to me.  In one, a beautiful place called ‘Eagle’s Drift’, I was taken to see this massive nest, so high up […]

The dreary grey-greens and browns of the Australian bush did not appeal to many early settlers, used to soft bright English and Irish greens. As with many of our flowers, you need to be up close — and unblinkered — to see just how varied and colourful our trees are. My indigenous rainforest trees have […]

I have finally gotten around to cutting back the verandah’s vines of wisteria and ornamental grape. They have twisted around themselves and each other to form very strong and sculptural outstretching limbs. This year I am experimenting with leaving more of their extremities, their claws, poised to shoot green fingers further than before perhaps. Beyond them, against […]

Collecting kindling, I happened to walk around the back of the big tree whose roots cradle my ‘insulator’ bird water bowl on the other side. From the different perspective, the early morning sun illuminated something incongruously light-coloured high up on the rough brown trunk. It was a fat fungus but I could see little detail […]

Late summer, and the smooth-trunked gum trees here have shed their bark clothes– perversely, just as it’s getting chilly. This  one near the path to the outdoor loo astonishes each time I walk by with the amount of bark strips from just one tree. No wonder we build up such a good fuel load for […]

I love all natural lemony scents and flavours. I love lemons, and have many lemon trees of the cultivated and bush varieties, never wanting to be without lemon juice or peel in the kitchen. But I also have two native trees with lemon-scented leaves. This little beauty is the Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora), and I […]

Many early colonists thought the Australian bush a drab monotone of greyish green, blinded as they still were by the vivid lime greens and emeralds of their European trees and mist-made lawns. I hope closer acquaintance taught them to see more clearly – if they hadn’t cleared all the bush around them. At present my […]

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