Tree Squares: Camping

Camping on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, 1993

I started July’s extravaganza of Tree Squares with a tree photo from my overland trip in Africa, so it seems fitting to end on the same note. I have no idea what sort of tree this is, but it’s dramatic.

Two Tree Squares from me today, due to having spotted the remarkable tree growing around the power lines a few hours ago! I just had to share that.

July Squares are all about Trees. As always, a huge thanks to Becky!


Tree Squares: Around the Power Lines

This is a determined tree!

I snapped this tree with my phone today, while out walking (exercise being one of the four permitted reasons to leave your home in Sydney these days). In the 15 years I’ve lived in this area of Sydney, I’ve never walked down this street before, so was taken aback when I spotted this. I’m amazed that the electricity company goes to the bother of trimming the inside branches of this tree so they don’t touch the lines, rather than simply cutting it back. And I admire this tree’s determination to grow up and around!

July Squares are all about Trees


Tree Squares: Bottle Tree

Planted in 2007

Here’s another interesting tree type from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. The trees in these photos are both Queensland Bottle Trees, one much younger than the other.

The label for this tree didn’t say when it was planted, unfortunately, but look at the size of the trunk!

It’s so large that it needs propping up.

About the trees

July Squares are all about Trees


Absolut Blue

Absolut Ice Bar, London, 2009

Frozen, frosted, splintered blue. Vodka kept inside a chamber so cold that it became an icy slurry. The bar itself one giant freezer, in which visitors were given a quilted, hooded garment and gloves to ward off the cold. Tables made of giant blocks of ice.

And on that summer day in August 2009, the temperature outside was so warm that I was wearing whisper-thin trousers and flimsy open-toed shoes. Not an ideal mix. My toes were blue, too!

Me, modelling the contrast between the thermal wrap we were given to wear inside the Ice Bar, and my utterly inappropriate summer shoes — in a contrasting shade of blue, though!

Life in Colour: Blue


Tree Squares: The Apple Tree

1996, and there’s a fair number of red fruit in the tree. That’s my mother’s sister doing the raking.

This is the saga of the apple tree in my parents’ back yard. They didn’t plant the tree; it came with the house when they bought it from my grandparents in the 90s, and may even have been planted by the people who owned the house before my grandparents. In 1996, above, the tree looked like your average apple tree.

Jump to 2004, and the tree had morphed into the “pom pom tree” and was used for suspending hammocks and hammock chairs. I think it was pruned like this so the tree wouldn’t waste its efforts on scraggly thin side branches. It was quite the conversation piece for passers-by!

2007, and here are my parents harvesting apples from the pom pom tree. I think by then the branches had become too unsafe to support a hanging chair.

2014, and all that’s left is the stump.

June 2021: not even the stump remains. But the ring of curved stone edging still marks out the tree’s location. (Photo courtesy of my mother)

July Squares are all about Trees


Tree Squares: Not extinct after all

The Wollemi Pine was thought to be extinct until 1994, when specimens were identified in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. A program to conserve and propagate these trees, in the wild and in gardens, aims to preserve the species. This one is in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

It’s not the most attractive tree I’ve ever seen, but the scientists seem very excited.

A plaque commemorates the tree’s planting.

Wondering about the statue at the tree’s base?

July Squares are all about Trees