I love trees and I love rocks. In the Wollemi National Park there is plenty of both, in as many shapes and sizes as an addict like me could dream of, from Scribbly Gum eucalypts to Pagoda rocks.
But if I can’t decide which I love best, it is clear which has right of way. Here the ‘rock-paper-scissors’ game came to mind. I take the tree as paper, although I have seen a tree grown in a crack eventually split a huge rock if in the right line.
The Scribbly Gums are shedding old bark and showing off their writing skills. The rocks remain unimpressed.
I am impressed by both here, and the trees seem to simply accommodate the rocks as need be, and change direction to grow around them.
I can’t read the scribbles but I admire the patterns and colours, so like the rocks.
Some of the gums have chosen to double their chances — rather boldly if seen upside-down — in their shiny new skins.
Others have had to heal around damage, pucker up and carry on.
Some have been too badly burnt out to manage the cosmetics, but have rallied to survive. Much of the Wollemi National Park was burnt in those awful fires two years ago, and I saw masses of young wattles taking up the challenge.
They have looked like this for about 45 million years! The process of their forming is fascinating but complicated, and you will no doubt Google it immediately…