The softness of she-oaks

Some consider the Australian bush harsh. Even in my rich mountain forests, there are areas where the dry furrowed bark of big stringybark trees dominate, with only bare ground and rocks, sticks and dry leaves beneath.

But it cannot be called harsh where she-oaks of any sort grow. These trees, properly called casuarinas, have what appear to be delicate bunches of slender drooping leaves.

Only they are virtually leafless, with the ‘leaves’ reduced to small teeth or scales arranged around the branchlets that we see as leaves.

The red she-oak timber, once used for shingles, is now prized for cabinetry. Most of the casuarina family burn with great heat and were in demand for bakers’ ovens.

But for me the standing trees have greatest value, rain or shine, for they grace the bush with their elegance, filter sunlight like fine lace, and turn raindrops into diamonds.
she-oak raindrops

2 thoughts on “The softness of she-oaks”

  1. Thanks for those kind words Margy. I know how lucky I am — and your brother. At least you have somewhere to visit when city life gets too much.
    As for translating my life into literature, that is exactly how I see it. In the next book, Mountain Tails, I am also using my drawings to help ‘translate’; I have shunned photos in the books because I feel they are too literal, not interpretive enough.

  2. I am loving your book Sharyn and live vicariously through it.
    I visit my brother’s property in the Watagans and dream of living the type of life you guys do.
    For now though I am indebted to Sydney and our mortgage, but when that reality becomes overwhelming, I dream of the times I have lived that basic existence at my brother’s property.
    Your experiences and day to day ingenuity mimic those of my brother, however I suspect with your good rainfall the trees you have planted will by far surpass the unfortunate efforts of my poor brother.
    I wish you all the best in your future publishing ventures. As someone who has experienced elements of your type of lifestyle; I congratulate you on the great job you’ve done in translating your existence to paper and ultimately to the reader’s consciousness.
    Enjoy the silence

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