Giving up on wildlife – turning to trees

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The bones of snow gums at the top of Mt Hotham.

After two weeks and one day of promises of wildlife I have decided to give up the hunt and turn to the trees.

The trees have brought us more joy on this trip. We’ve devised a car game called “what does that tree look like other than a tree.” Sometimes this game has included interesting cloud formations. The trees are snow gums and are really quite a remarkable specimen. In the middle of a stand of green you can find one. They stand out as tall white sculptures against the land and sky and so very often look nothing like a tree.

As we climbed Mt Hotham we drove through great sweeps of these white skeletons. They were burnt in the 2006 fires that became the Great Divide fires that eventually burnt over 1 million hectares. These trees are yet to regenerate.

The effect is both chilling and breathtaking. The ranges look like a painter has thrown large brushstrokes of white across them. The ranges look cooler, snowy or icy. But it’s the middle of summer and as you drive though a cluster you see these bones still standing like surviours from a great war.

Trees and clouds always deliver

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