Monday, November 7, 2011

Eucalypts of outback Qld

Eucalypts are a growing interest for both Doug and me, although in hindsight a love of this most Australian tree of all, the eucalypt, has always been there.

Some of our closest friends, Heather and Bob Bowen share our interest and have a garden that specialises in eucalypts and other Australian natives. The lemon coloured blossoms (Eucalyptus platypus) came from their garden; while the pink Eucalyptus torquata flowers were found growing along the St George road.

The Bimble box (Eucalyptus populnea) is a new tree for me but common in and around Mitchell. When fully grown, it's a tall eucalypt with a bushy crown, but it's the leaf that appeals to me.

The leaves are shiny and round. Light bounces off their surface, especially when the sun shines after rain. Wind rustles the leaves, creating their own music.

One of Mitchell's respected Aboriginal elders -- Irene Ryder -- weaves charming bimble box hats using the leaves only. Old trees have massive trunks and often have burls. These are sought-after by the wood turning enthusiasts.

This week I've noticed the river red gums in full flower and alive with honey-eaters, flying foxes, beetles and bees. It's a busy time along the banks of the Maranoa River.

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