Friday, 16 July 2010

Back from the north

I’m back from Kununurra, still full of the wonder of the place. It was spectacular, exciting and – even better – warm! After the freezing weather we’ve been having down here lately, the sun was very welcome.

I couldn’t possibly pay tribute to the place in one post, so be prepared for a few stories (what else are holidays for?). After all I have over 250 photos to inspire me and bring back memories.

First up though, this post is for Angela, who loves trees. This tree is like no other. The Kimberley (the area of far north Western Australia) is the home of Boab trees (Adansonia gregorii), bottle shaped trees that provided both food and shelter to the Aborigines. Just about every part of the tree is edible, from the roots to the seeds. They’re related to the baobab trees of Africa and grow very slowly. They mostly grow dotted amongst the other vegetation, but occasionally you can come across a whole forest of them, like skittles set up for bowling over.

(I think this one fell over naturally)

The Prison Tree Boab was once used as a place for keeping prisoners (mostly Aboriginal) on the way to the town of Wyndham on the north coast. Situated about a day’s ride from the town, its hollow centre made a perfect place to guard prisoners. It is estimated to be around 1500 years old. Most of the initials carved in its trunk though, are from modern day vandals seeking to make permanent record of their visit.

Finally, I'm not absolutely sure this is a boab, but it looks like one to my inexpert eye. Either way, it's fascinating how it's growing where it is.


C.R. Evers said...

Wow! These pictures are awesome! They inspire me as well. Great photos!

Kate said...

Thanks, Christy!

Angela Ackerman said...

Oh my gosh! I love these pictures! And I had no idea this tree had other varieties that existed outside of Africa.

Ever since I read a NF PB written by Becca on strange plants and trees, I've wanted to see one of these. This is definitely a tree of a thousand uses, and I do hope I'll see some in Africa. If I do, you can bet there will be pictures! Until then, these will definitely tide me over. Thank you so much for sharing them! :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Kate said...

Glad you liked them, Angela! :D

Clare said...

Fascinating post, Katie. (Are you going to tell us about the flights?)