This post is a response to Amy’s Lens-Artist challenge. Trees are one of my favourite things and I’ve been wondering about this one.
Trees catch my eye. Not sure what type of eucalyptus this is or how tall is is. Searched online and found out there are over 800 different species. Stopped there.
We had it bone-dry over last summer. This tree trunk had a smooth, pearlised sheen then. It felt shiny. Curious about the bark … I decided to focus on the same patch over time to see what happens.
Are those dark spots the beginning of new bark?
A shower of rain makes all the difference. It seems to me that all the colours the tree needs for leaves, blossoms and fruits are here in the trunk, ready.
I did find out that the best way to identify a Eucalyptus is by its bark!
A friend In NZ told me of a novel* he’d read about a man who had many different types of gum trees on his property. When any young man came courting his daughter and asked his permission to marry her … the man would reply “When you can identify every Eucalyptus on the place, you may marry my daughter. “
Well, why not? If Psyche in the Greek myth had to go through all those trials to be united with Eros … sounds fair enough. I wonder if one succeeded in identifying each tree?
The trunk began to feel more uneven. Is it due to lack of water?
Weather is still very dry.
Now the weather’s a bit cooler and we have had above average rain in March, the texture and colour are changing again.
Here’s what the foot of the tree looked like.
Focusing on just one patch of trunk has been fascinating. But what I’ve learned doing this challenge is to not let myself be overwhelmed by the top or crown … just to remember to to start at the foot!
I’ve confirmed this is a Sydney Blue Gum. I’ve listed two sources. The fact that the bark sheds in strips, yet has ‘its stocking of dark persistent bark at the base’ clinched it.
All text except quote and photos by Meg.
PS. That novel about identifying Eucalypts*. A friend who read this post is lending me her copy of Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (1998) Winner of the Miles Franklin Award 1999.
Australian National Botanic Garden, Growing Native Plants, 2012. Isabel Zeil-Rolfe. Eucalyptus Saligna: Sydney Blue Gum. 2016, Australian Government, Canberra. Viewed 30 April, 2019. https://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/trainees-2016/eucalyptus-saligna.html
YOUNG, P.A.R. (1991) Rainforest Guide. Brisbane, Brisbane Forest Park Administration Authority, p38.
Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is Copyright © under Australian Law.