It just so happens I got the opportunity to visit Brisbane last Thursday to attend a meeting, and after sitting inside for three hours a walk through Brisbane's Old Botanic Gardens was in order to help clear my head.
As should be very clear to anyone who has read any of my posts here or over at The Veteran Tree Group Blog that I am fascinated by the living history that our veteran trees represent, and the Old Botanic Gardens are a perfect example of that.
I like almost every square metre of the gardens, I love picturing in my head the original intent of the planners and landscapers who laid out the basic pattern of plantings. Probably my favourite sections are the Bunya pine avenue,
the weeping fig avenue
and the remnant Blue Gum on the banks of the Brisbane River.
On entering the park from Alice Street I was a little surprised that along the revetment wall, footpath and river bank there was very little obvious physical evidence of the recent (just over a week ago) flood.
The only visual clue is the extend of dead grass along the bank and the eroded state of the mulch and soil.
I find this part of the city against the river really quite beautiful, perhaps because the tall multistorey buildings are some distance away, or perhaps because the cliff face on the opposite bank is relatively unchanged from the view in the late 1800's....I have been to quite a lot of cities overseas that are built on large rivers, and I have visited four state capitals here in Australia that are on big rivers...but Brisbane (or at least this section..and Fig tree pocket) is probably one of the most beautiful I have seen.
Despite what I (like every other Australian with a TV) saw for days not much more than one week ago, the Brisbane River now looks as harmless and tranquil as ever (ok its still pretty brown!).
I know that there are a great many people - not just in Qld - still struggling to reconstruct their lives...some will never be able to do that, people died...But I personally get a great deal of comfort from the defiant resiliance and defiance of the trees along the banks of the river.
...its almost as if they would look at the 2011 flood event and say...hmmm bit of rain nice water around my roots...it is sobering to remember that some of these trees (the older plantings have seen and endured far far worse).
|Temporary dry dock on the bank of the river|