Monday, October 22, 2007

Forest Fog

The mist rolled in at lunchtime yesterday, after a weekend of bright dry days. Our driveway disappeared into a white fudge, and our lambs snoozed comfortably in the warm silence. After a time, the rain began to fall slowly and quietly, as if gravity was pulling it from above. The afternoon passed in this way and our nibbled down grass was watered and readied for regrowth.

We view mist differently in our high place in the hills. Often we can wake in bright sunshine and look below to a 'mystic lake', where only a few trees poke through a thick doona of mist. Other times we can have our heads in the clouds and below is clear. Driving up or down can change our views on the days' weather in a few kilometres.

This photo below is a favourite of mine, and I have even done a large pastel from it. That Mountain Ash Eucalypt is sadly no more, as that magnificent branch crashed to the road some years back, and then the whole tree tumbled a couple of years later.

Was it any wonder, when the pull of that long heavy branch downwards would have pushed the strength of the joint to the limit?

Mountain Ashes are one of Australia's most magnificent eucalypts, with their pale striped trunks and red brown bark pulled down like discarded stockings.

We have some younger ones on our block, and if you don't check in on them regularly, you can find they have shot skywards and developed all the grand characteristics like the ones above. In late summer, they flower with clumps of tiny fragrant blossoms which the bees love.

I have one dangerously near my studio, but the Crimson Rosellas congregate amongst the leaves and call me for their seed during winter. Sometimes we talk about trimming it a little, to stop the inevitable branch drop that gum trees do, but I can't bring myself to have it removed.

It is on a steep bank which would pull it away from the building, and the big winds usually blow the other way, so that's my excuse. If it falls, it won't fall on me!

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
.... Joyce Kilmer

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