One of the things that has always fascinated me is the way that the Australian landscape is familiar to the European eye, but when viewed more closely (or critically) becomes much more strange than you could imagine. One of the things that I find myself saying over and again is “If you just squint, this could be England. The trees aren’t right”. Something about the colour, a more dusty green or the hints of silver grey in the leaves; the sinuous shapes of the branches that just aren’t quite ‘right’ or the mossy roundness of the canopy. Almost there but trees done differently – done the Eucalyptus way.
When my parents visited for three months a couple of years ago, my father commented on the way the trees dominate the landscape. They really do swell and rise with the lay of the land in a way that is quite unlike anything else I have ever seen. Early settlers took this as a sign of fertility, but in reality the soils were shallow, hard to work and often infertile. Life was a struggle for the first few years and the fledgling settlement nearly didn’t make it. And the trees also proved to be little use for building. Not much going for them you may say, but while they were of little use for man, they certainly do show that mother nature was and is a great artist!
So today we are sharing trees and a fern. Enjoy the view (and squint if you wish).