Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dadap Tree

The amazing tree that all the birds are attracted to is called a Coastal Coral Tree (Erythrina caffra).
Kafir-boom in it's home South Africa, Thong-lang in Thailand and Dadap or Dedap in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is drought tollerant which makes it well suited to Darwin's climate of wet - dry conditions.
The Dadap is a sacred tree in Bali and is considered a symbol of fertility. The tree features in Balinese ceremonies including the wedding ceremony. "After circling the compound three times a string connecting two branches of the dadap tree is severed by the couple passing through it." (Wedding & Tooth Filing, Bali Travel Guidebook).
Dadap is also believed to have medicinal properties and parts of it are used to treat various ailments.

Dadap tree

Erythrina caffra bark

Erythrina caffra leaf

Big Blackfella

The current issue of Australian Geographic, issue.83 (2006 Jul - Sep), has a story titled BIG BLACKFELLA on page. 34. While making our 4 day dash to Melbourne back in April my Dad and I happened to see him from the road (Stuart Hwy).
He was a magnificent site standing tall high on a rocky escarpment like a sentinel watching over his country. He was a giant whose view encompassed everything in the land from horizon to horizon. We tried to get closer to him to find out more but settled for a slightly closer view from the road before we continued on our way.
According to the article the local Anmatjere people call him Charlie Quartpot, a rainmaker from the past. He cut an awesome image and was a good reminder that although the wide open spaces and few settlements along the way give the impression of emptyness the Australian desert is far from empty! If you manage to spend some time out there you may sometimes have a sense that you are not alone... Maybe you're not?


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