Tuesday, 9 March 2010
The past in trees
Sometimes the past is right with us and sometimes the past is a distant place. I look at this picture of Two Tree Hill taken in 1900 and it seems from a distant place and time. Yet I look out my kitchen window every morning at this same hill. Today it is swathed in mist. Through the mist you can glimpse every shade of green from the brightness of summer grass to the dark black-green of crow's ash and the subdued olives of acacia and scrub. It's not heavily forested but the trees are there and many people are doing their best to plant more. A few years ago one of my neighbours helped another plant a hillside paddock with trees. This same neighbour is busy reforesting his gullies. We've done a small bit and hope to do more.
One of my jobs at the moment tracking down historical photographs of Ipswich for a presentation someone is doing in a few weeks. I'm actually getting paid to browse archives. It's pretty fabulous. Some of the archived photos are of Marburg and I am continually astonished at how bare the land used to be. Land became yours when you cleared it within a certain time period. It's a powerful incentive.
It's a stark reminder of the influence government policies can have on everyday life. Today the salinity, flooding and other issues in Black Snake Creek can be traced directly back to government policies -- land clearing, provision of reticulated water but not sewage to the township, development policies...the list goes on. And it is a reminder to me that I have a responsibility to this land as well.