Rivers and Trees

Funny that the same old things tend to attract, and though I strolled by the smashed in yellow face of a taxi cab and a rolled over truck on the way to work last week (no-one was hurt) I wasn’t drawn to write about it.

It was different a couple of weeks ago when after the rainiest day ever in Melbourne, I walked down to see how the Yarra was looking. The first thing I noticed was that it was moving! for the first time it seemed, and swirling in ominious green whirlpools that eddied up from who knows what horrific river bed to the surface, then down again. And whole trees, trunks as long as light poles, rolling and plunging and being pushed inexorably downstream, sometimes their branches waving like hands, then falling into the darkness again. A couple of days later one of them, a whole tree basicall intact, was wedged hight up in the foundations of one of the bridges and would need to be cut away.

Yarra River in Melbourne after the Storm

Melbourne’s Wet and Wild Weather

The living trees I found a couple of weeks later; at the previously unknown (to me) Burnley Gardens. The gardens have been there since the 1880s and are now used by the University of Melbourne in their horticulture studies. I hadn’t been in there, and in fact it looks from the front at Yarra Blvd a bit like some kind of old fashioned government agency, but the gardens are always open.

The best thing are the trees; a beautiful old river gum which probably pre-dates the whole place, an immense Moreton Bay Fig, a sequoia planted for the opening ceremoney, Canary Island pine, hoop pine and a beautiful Kauri pine, all within ten minutes walk from where I’m now living.

And a lot more likely to end in some future writing than the clash of cars on the corner of Glenferrie and Burwood Roads.

Burnley Gardens


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