Bare-skinned gum trees

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 bushfires.

I always want to stroke the new bare trunks, cool to the touch, and yet warm too, with their slight dimples and bumps.

It was only in the photo, not the flesh, that I noticed this engaging detail (right) — an arm and hand, rather Gollum-like, pensively poised on the chin of this emerging face.

Even the saplings contribute a lot of bark to the forest floor, rising shamelessly bare and beautiful from their shredded skirts (left). The bigger ones here are often multi-trunked — the only reason they weren’t logged 50 years ago. The early morning sunlight has tinted this one with apricot, which I am admiring when I spot yet another detail.

Backlit spiders’ webs on a nearby Angophora, a complex of levels and patterns, given solidity for just a few minutes until the sun rises higher. What a world of surprises!