trees

On my new place, in typical farm fashion, trees have mostly only been left around the edges, but in the middle of the bare creekflat there are three big trees. The kookaburras like them as good vantage points from which to spot their lunch. I like them because I can watch them from my verandah […]

There are many small birds here but they do NOT stay still for photos for me to share them with you. Swallows, Willy Wagtails, honeyeaters, finches… I will have to take to sitting outside and waiting, with camera poised. I think that’s called birdwatching. Thankfully the flora here is slower moving. Alongside the small creek […]

After a few days of welcome (if inconvenient for moving house) heavy rain, the bare trees are glistening in the morning sunlight, and the bulbs beneath them are struggling to lift their heads. I love winter birches: for their bark and the lichen it attracts, for their bobbles and fine branchlets and twigs and the […]

Walking around the yard this sparkling autumn morning, I thought back over the many hopeful plantings over 35 years. I planted hundreds more than now exist, gone either from unsuitability or passionate macropod pruning, but I kept records. I love how big many trees have grown but I also found myself noting the many small […]

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 […]

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