Beyond bark

The day was wild and windy, the foliage being whipped about, so would not stand still for photos, but their sturdy trunks did.

And, focusing my eyes like that, the variety of patterns and textures was stunning.

Old, grey and knobbly; a bit like how I feel these days…

Or the same tree when young, looking like popcorn overly dusted with salt… or mistakenly, with icing sugar.

The higher, drier parts of this forest are full of fallen and dead ti-tree types, as well as leaning live ones, their shaggy grey bark almost an invitation to fire.

Others just as fibrous twist in less vertical paths to the sky, bearing memorial scars of lost limbs.

The more patchily shaggy paperbarks are often in damper areas, so do not invoke bushfire images as much.

The smoother barked trees sport subtle shades of lichen, pink and grey and cream and soft green…

Their more daring cousins add dramatic black highlights.

Other trees play it straight and go for flecks, but allow the adornment of twining wines for interest.

When texture fails to catch the eye, shape does. Why, when not apparently wind-formed?

Tangled limbs, whole meandering branches, clinging to cliffside meagre soil.

What’s not to wonder at with trees, wherever and however they grow?

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