Monday, September 29, 2008

On The Water

My new arrival!

Getting out onto the Arafura via Shoal Bay with very little room to spare.

It's like old times! Surfing!
Sort of deliberate like a prowling fin near the shore.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Urban Ride

It rained today
and a ride through the urban sidewalks was sweetened by the fragrance of many flowering trees.

This is a variety of Syzygium which produces editable fruit. I was told it's common name is white bush apple.

According to Tantalite [] the fruit is ripe in December if the tree is growing in the bush. Native trees flowering out of sync with their native counterparts. How confusing!
Link: []

Another strange flowering plant was the freshwater mangrove Barringtonia acutangula.

The caterpillar, known as the Itchy Grub lives on the tree and can cause a nasty rash IF YOU BRUSH AGAINST IT so one common name is the itichy tree.

As well as the unusual flowers, the bark is ground up and has been used by the Indigenous Australians to de-oxygenate the river streams to harvest the stunned fish.

In the story "YathalamarraLand of the waterlily" this tree plays a significant role. According to Margie West:

"The Mundukul ‘rainbow’ site at Wulŋir that Malangi did paint is a restricted site because the Snake himself is considered to be malagatj (extremely dangerous). At this site there is a lone nithuk, freshwater mangrove tree (Barringtonia acutangula), which is regarded as poisonous and people in the region pound the bark to stun fish. If anyone goes too close to this site unannounced, or breaks a branch from this tree, Mundukul will spit lightning, unleash destructive storms, and may swallow people whole. Malangi was concerned about the possible interference with this dangerous place and recounted how the desecration of ancestrally significant trees in his Glyde River country once made him and his younger brother Charlie Boyun extremely ill, leading to his brother’s death a short time afterwards.


Monday, September 8, 2008

The West Winds Have Begun

Today I was influenced for the first time by the winds coming from the West in the late afternoon. This usually indicates that the build up to the wet season is coming.
It seemed a lot hotter with much more humidity. Soon the sky will be filled with the only mountains we ever see here.

In the dry season
just about every seed is utilized by some bird.
These gum tree seed pods hardly look appetizing, more like beak conditioners.

Coming full season the Kapok seed pods
are just about ready to take off for parts unknown.

We do have a few hills around the Darwin & Lee Point area and it seems a shame that so much erosion is allowed to occur. If the land is unsuitable for commercial development it seems that it is simply allowed to wash away.