Kangaroos watched me cautiously, swivelling their ears to catch every sound. Unseen birds betrayed their presence as spikes of grass twitched in the early morning stillness – gatherers of seed and insects going about their business apparently oblivious to the intrusion. But the wildlife rarely bother too much as I quietly observe their habits and habitat. I always feel privileged to have access to the natural environment of wild creatures.
Perhaps I’ve never taken enough notice of photos and information on the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, but I didn’t expect to find spectacular trees. Beautiful River Red Gums, massive in girth and height, line all the dry watercourses. Not an odd tree here and there, but great numbers.
White is the primary colour of the trunks – gleaming white splashed with all shades of earthy colours you could imagine. Dense, drooping canopies of slender blue/green leaves are heavy with flower buds. Is it any wonder that artists flock to these trees. When they are ready to burst into bloom, surely the birds will flock to them too.
Although all the waterways are now dry, the evidence of swift and deep rushing water is everywhere. Flood debris lays in piles against any obstacle that hindered the waters flow. But most astounding are the huge logs that have gouged holes in mature eucalypts lining the creeks. More than holes, some trees have been broken open and completely hollowed out, but still they live on. Nature is remarkable in its violence, and its resilience. I can not help but be impressed by the stories being told by the grand old trees.
I sit in the riverbed, write about my surroundings and of how I am emotionally moved by the sheer magnificence of nature. This is a gravel riverbed, others are rocky. Emus and kangaroos have left their footprints as their weight has cracked the mud crust, and there are tiny unidentifiable tracks accompanying them. Mother Nature’s animals live in harmony, as all life should be.