MtLawleyShire – Happy New Year, Apologies and an Illawarra Flame Tree

Happiest New Year to all of you.

I haven’t forgotten you – but there is not, at the moment, time to read all your posts, or in fact post much myself.

But this I wanted to share with you. I took these photos on New Year’s Day and haven’t had time to return.  The tree has probably stopped flowering now, which is sad.

There are several of these trees growing around the perimeter of Hyde Park, but I have never seen one in full flame before.  The Illawarra Flame Tree, or Kurrajong, is native to the east coast of Australia, but is grown in many places because it is a stunner.  It needs water when young, but manages droughts when fully established (which is good because we’re headed straight into one).  Like the jacaranda, it loses its leaves, then flowers, though recently, the flowering times have become erractic due to the changing climate, some flowering as late as April.

For me, the spectacular colour – enhanced by the bright sunlight – is almost unreal.

I first saw it as a blaze of scarlet amongst the sombre pines

illawarra flame tree_1

& here it is – blazing in the sun, against dark green and summer blue sky, the red of already shedding flowers adding unexpected colour to the ground

illawarra flame tree_8

Looking up through the blanches is a strange sensation – it feels like faerie, unreal

illawarra flame tree_3  illawarra flame tree_4

The contrast against the darker foliage in the park was astonishing:

illawarra flame tree_5    illawarra flame tree_13

illawarra flame tree_12

and against the sky:

illawarra flame tree_10  illawarra flame tree_9

illawarra flame tree_16

the flowers themselves are rather lovely:

illawarra flame tree_6

but the best of it was in the sunlight playing amongst the fall of scarlet:

illawarra flame tree_14  illawarra flame tree_11

These 2 are my favourites:

illawarra flame tree_7  illawarra flame tree_15

I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos.  I miss you all and look forward to catching up properly ina  few months time when I have submitted my PhD.


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