Monday, 11 June 2007

dreamtime?...

On another of my recent walks, I've had a bit of a lay off recently, I saw this. About two weeks before I had been along the same route while some workmen were busy trimming the pines at this corner because the surveyors were pegging a road widening. The corner is the nearest on Burwood Highway to Eastlink, the tollway that runs north from Frankston to Ringwood along the Scoresby valley.

This is another example I saw on another highway, Maroondah, just outside of Ringwood. We often see these memorials along the country roads, over the last 20 years or so they have become increasingly common, and there are places along the Hume Highway and the Goulburn valley Highway, where multiple memorials commemorate black spots on the roads. I didn't get close enough to see the details, I couldn't quite bring myself to cross from the public to the private space that seems to surround these trees; which is odd as I like cemetaries. Perhaps a cemetary is a public space only, and doesn't mark the site of the death like these memorials. These memorials bear some relation to the cauarinae mentioned in an earlier post, casually 3 on 22nd April, which recalled some of the Aboriginal myths of the creation of the Murray-Darling river system by
Ngurunderi, in one story of which Ngurunderi used a casuarina to enter the heavens. perhaps these trees are some deep longing for that same connectedness. Perhaps the tree is just an opportune means of displaying the memorial.

There has been a bit of sociological work, and historical, on memorials. This transcript on ABC Radio National is interesting. We have a long history of war memorialising, which is a classical thing. I have seen a World War One war memorial lying on the ground in a Polish village in what used to be Brandenburg Prussia. I have a photograph somewhere in a box of a grave site beside a road in the Western Districts, I think it says 'killed by blacks'. It matters that we memorialise all the deaths and murders of colonial settlement, it would complete this process, then I would believe some of what was said in the transcript. We could free the trees of this burden.

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don't you weep for me...

I reported on a weeping elm in Campbell's croft some time ago. I was on a walk the other day which took me through the area again. As the tree loses its leaves the structure becomes visible. It occurred to me that our eucalypts bear some relation to a deciduating tree, in that their branch and trunk are always exposed, and leaves are confined to the outer limbs, just as a deciduous tree loses its leaves until a few remain at the very extremities. Just a thought.

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pincushions...

This is a specimen of Hakea laurina, Pincushion hakea, which is growing in the golf course off Morack Road, South Vermont, (lat. -37 51.33 long. 145 11.97 E). This specimen is quite a long way from its home range, the southwestern coastal areas of Western Australia. It is called Pincushion hakea for the obvious reasons of the structure of the flower.

it is early winter here in Victoria, so the tree is flowering, a sort of sporadic effusion. However, as one can see in the above picture, the structure of the flower also indicates the way the tree fruits: fruit are in large and prominent clusters, and thickly clumped over the limbs of the tree., each fruit the product of the fertilization of a style.
Leaves here appear to be somewhat effected by a spotty disease, which may be a function of the location, this is not sunny coastal slopes. This tree is a few metres from a previous post-17th May And along came Jones- in an area in which there are probably no native species.
Out on a limb of the tree, one gets a clear idea of the way the tree bears its fruit. Morack Road is in the background.

The gold course is in the background here. It is no greener than it was during the last, very dry, summer, but the grass is now very green among the trees, unlike last summer. The golf course collects runoff and stores it further down near Dandenong Creek.

It isn't a large tree as yet, more a sapling which will grow to about 8m, according to the book. I found this tree interesting in its profiligacy, which seems to me to be unusual in a tree sourced out of the coastal regions.

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