Monday, 19 February 2007

Tree naming – another lesson

I can now tell the difference between Sydney Peppermint (eucalyptus piperita), Black Ash (eucalyptus sieberi) and Red Bloodwood (eucalytus gummifera). These eucalypts all grow together and have rough grey bark – no wonder I get confused – but I can now see their bark is distinct and another clue is whether it is on the upper branches or not.

Flushed from this success, I looked around eagerly on our drive through the forest in Glenbrook. “These gum trees are different,” I declared, feeling clever, “I wonder what they are?” About that moment we passed by the Ironbark picnic area. “Ahah,” I said, “they are Ironbarks.”

“Not necessarily,” my husband argued – he never accepts things on face value. “The Man from Ironbark might have camped there or something.”

It’s a cut-throat business trying to keep up with his wit and wits.

Ironbark tree, Glenbrook

Some time later we passed the Oaks picnic area. “So where are the oaks?” he asked smuggly. Given that oak trees are an exotic species, not welcome in a national park, I nearly conceded defeat when I spotted the casuarinas which are also known as she-oaks. I can tick off two more trees!

Words to Walk With:
From The Man from Ironbark by A. B (Banjo) Paterson.
"It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town,
He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down.
He loitered here, he loitered there, till he was like to drop,
Until at last in sheer despair he sought a barber's shop.
"'Ere! shave my beard and whiskers off, I'll be a man of mark,
I'll go and do the Sydney toff up home in Ironbark."

Read the rest of this bush ballad to see what happened.

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