Eucalypts – the Phoenix Trees

February 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Australia, Nature | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

DSCF7921

It is wonderful how species adapt to local conditions as they change over time.

Australia, the driest continent, was not always that way. It was once a tropical paradise (with volcanoes and the rest of the earth-building) when it separated from Gondwanaland. Over many millions of years, as the land mass moved to its current position relative to the rest of what had been a super-continent, conditions changed. It had been aeons since there had been the inland sea that the early European explorers expected to see.

Present-day Australia is a mixture of tropical rainforests in the northern coastal regions, temperate rainforests in the eastern and southern regions, dry forests inland, and deserts in the huge Red Centre. The climate is one of extremes. The Australian poet Dorothea McKellar wrote of her love for this land in the poem My Country. In it are these descriptive lines:

… a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains…

When there has been no rain for months, the countryside becomes dry. The greatest fear then is of fire. And when it comes, it is truly ferocious.

Fire Flinders Ranges Feb.2014

Fire Flinders Ranges Feb.2014

Nords Wharf fire

Nords Wharf fire

On Sunday, we drove through part of the large area of bushland that was burnt out only four months ago, during the widespread fire emergency in New South Wales.

We found that many of the trees, mostly eucalypts, that were burned in the fire have sprouted new growth.

New growth sprouts from a badly burned eucalypt.

New growth sprouts from a badly burned eucalypt.

DSCF7921

Even young saplings are recovering, though quite a few succumbed to the intensity of the flames. Soon though, new seedlings will emerge.

DSCF7938

Eucalypts are an integral part of the Australian bush (‘the bush’ covers a multitude of meanings in Australia, but here I am using the meaning ‘forest’), Although the volatile oil in their leaves is very flammable, making the bush subject to frequent fire episodes, most species are able to recover from the effects of fire.

That is because their seeds are protected inside woody nodules, and also because many species are able to regrow from nodules under the bark after all foliage and even much of the bark has been burned off.

DSCF7931

The bush regenerates after the fires.

Eucalypts, each a little miracle – a phoenix growing from the ashes.

 

(c) Linda Visman

 

5 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. The new life coming out of that burnt Eucalypt is absolutely wonderful. Beautiful image Linda.

  2. The new growth is so fresh and lush! It’s almost a miracle. 🙂

  3. I remember driving to Maryville some years ago a few months after the fires went through there. The regenerating eucalypts looked surreal and reminded us of scenes in fantasy movies. Incredible to think that nature has the capacity to heal itself … until humanity arrived to find ways to make sure it can’t having introduced toxic elements into the soil.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

SMARTER THAN CROWS

Our species is evolving. But will we ever be smarter than crows?

Helen Armstrong - writing on the move

I write when I travel but not always about travelling. It doesn't have to be a quiet corner...

Rosella Room

Socio-cultural comment on a range of issues, including literature, music and mental health

Myricopia

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Foxgloves and Bumblebees

A Nature Journal

L.T. Garvin

Eclectic blog: short fiction, poetry, humor, occasional dreams and wild book schemes.

Echidna Tracks

Australian Haiku

irevuo

art. popular since 10,000 BC

Word Craft ~ Prose and Poetry

Colleen M. Chesebro ~ Novelist, Prose Metrist, & Word Witch

sketchings

Thel's Sketchings: Art, Photography, Musings & Short Stories

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

backstorypress.com

A blog about writing and reading

roughwighting

Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Curry Apple Orchard

A blog designed to remember the past and celebrate the present.

barsetshirediaries

A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

%d bloggers like this: