We had the pleasure of doing a group camping trip over Easter on the Nunniong Plains, ostensibly just vegetating around a nice campsite and enjoying the company of our friends. It was one of those weekends where you didn’t want to do anything and made no real effort to do anything. But I can’t ever leave my camera gear behind, as I know that I’ll invariably miss having it and curse myself when I find things that I could have photographed. Taking photos of the group is a given, but I also like to take in the bush life around us on such camping trips, if there’s anything of interest and, quite often, I try to make something interesting from the potentially uninteresting. So, as I took our hounds on some daily walks (the most effort of the weekend), I always had my camera with me.
And as we did our walks, I started to look more closely at the trees that were around us and their various textures and colours and found a theme for another story. This wasn’t just a way of producing another story, as I was truly fascinated by the trees about us, even though they were of a common variety. The shapes, colours and textures were interesting to say the least and, as I have a fascination for trees, it was a natural series of subjects to photograph. The ever changing light also provided a different perspective on the shapes, textures and colours throughout the day, so this too added to my interest in the various trees. You could class the trees into rough groupings based on their textures and colours, going from rough and dark to smooth and colourful. Even the dead trees had their own unique character when you looked a little closer.
And that’s what I decided to do with all the trees about our campsite, take a closer look at the unique textures and colours that each of the trees displayed. Rough bark was perhaps the most common theme of all the gums surrounding us, but when you peered closer, there were all manner of differences with each one. And often buried or hidden within the bark were all manner of additional features not visible even from a short distance. I guess had I peered even closer, I would have found many an interesting creature or plant making a home on or within the rough terrain provided by these particular gums. And in some of the photographs you can see some less than obvious things.
Then there were the gums with smoother bark and certainly much more interesting and with greater variations in colours, tones and hues. These were akin to the snow gums that we see at these higher altitudes, though these particular ones weren’t the low, twisted, gums that grow in the highest altitudes. I’m not quite sure what actually dictates the growth variations of these gums, but I suspect that where we were camped, it doesn’t quite get the prolonged and heavy snowfalls that occur several hundred metres higher up and the other gums and their density probably provides shelter that enables stronger growth. And the moss was ever present and plentiful on just about every tree.
And finally there were a few trees that displayed a truly unique character, something that I haven’t observed previously. These particular trees had very shiny trunks and where the branches spread out, the bends in the branches were often wrinkled like human skin. The colours were also very appealing, appearing as if they were wet or oily, even though they were quite dry to the touch. In the evening light, they almost glowed in places and looked quite unreal. Some of these looked almost like artwork and in a sense they were, just another example of nature’s artwork that we so often try to emulate.
I could have taken many more photographs of the various trees that were about, more so if I’d been willing to venture further out, but that may have taken the fun out of the relaxation that was the main aim of the holiday. Mind you, I think the Croquet players that forced me to have a game, even though I wasn’t interested, in hindsight might have preferred me to have gone out photographing trees, given the trouncing they received.