This an Illawarra Flame Tree, flowering in the reserve next to me. The densely forested reserve is the reason I bought this place; it is also what makes my place so vulnerable to ember attack.
My yard is constantly carpeted with dry leaves– perfect kindling.
So the Flame Tree is a good symbol of the situation in many places as our country explodes into flames.
I took the tree photos before the worst of our smokefilled days, like the one above.
The main colour now comes as the sun rises and sets red.
Under necessary water restrictions I am watching my garden die from thirst, and crisping as the day’s heat rises.
Many have had to watch their whole life’s work — garden, home, belongings, even animals — become burnt offerings to our climate crisis.
I need to find reasons not to despair… and rage with anger… at this time.
So I instead I will turn away, to celebrate the colour from the trees — Silky Oak and Flame Tree — that are native but not indigenous to here.
I hope they lift your spirits a little too.
Nature is beautiful, and bigger than us; we have not treated her well, and right now she is giving us a mighty wake-up message. Last chance?