Those of you have been reading these blogs for a long time will remember my “Ringtree” phase before I became TinT obsessed. Ive found ringtrees fashioned out of coolabah, blackbox, bimblebox, whitewood, rosewood, wild orange (bumble) leopardwood & belah. All of the cultural rings here west of Walgett are related to water – good water – providing vital information for travellers & future generations. However some trees have been radically manipulated around campsites seemingly just for the hell of it or located in hard to see places. Also double rings – did it mean something different than the single variety or were they just showing off their skills as Arbortects?
This is a bent up rosewood on the neighbours place seen in the height of the 2019 drought – its dead now. The inhospitable scalded plain it was living on is covered in stone chips & discards from a very old camp. There is a deep water hole in the big warrambool less than a K away + peach bush & sandhill camp that probably contained a well over to the left.
This crazy ringed tripod whitewood shouldn’t even be alive. Its located at the Barwon overflow for the little warrambool in Avon along with the plaited rosewood & the marvellous coolabah bow navigation tree. There was a great gathering here in the past with a bunch of coolabahs burnt from the inside out. There was no permanent camp because there was no permanent water – simple as that.
These mad belar trees are on the big warrambool floodplain on the northern neighbours neighbour. The closest belah is relatively normal but the distant one has had its lower branches diverted up for some reason?
This Cumbul coolabah branch has done a 360 but may have been a pointer or directional tree when it was smaller. Trees tell stories & provide information – who went where & when?
This is a water holding wilga at the Avon house camp. There is a small ring as well but seen from this angle you can see how they have made troughs for rainwater or for water carried in coolamons from the natural water catchment/ sandhill well.
Why settle for 1 ring when 2 looks way more cool? I have no idea why the Gomeroi & Wailwun did this but when it came to manipulating trees they were the best in the world. The double ring on the left is from Cuddie springs & the other is from here with a pointer on the other side. The Gingie one is older & close to the ground. The Cuddie one is up the top of the tree but both are dead coolabahs I think.
The people here didn’t just limit themselves to manipulating 1 tree on its own. As you can see above they have grown a whitewood through the top ring of a leopardwood. Next to that is a bimblebox with a supplejack growing through the split tree trunk – I mean seriously !!!!
Above is a unique coolabah branch ring on the neighbour’s place. Below is the camp tree under which I found it. Now why would they want a ring here? I have a feeling its something to do with women – must ask Rhonda Ashby or Priscilla Reid-Loynes when they next come round.
I don’t know what the clan camping near the big warrambool were trying to achieve with this long dead coolabah below. There are 3 belah ringtrees nearby so they must have had plenty of water & time on their hands. Belar trees are only bendy when they are very young. The older wood splinters easily & more rigid – tricky to work with I’d imagine.
How could I forget the classic wedding arch above – used only 3 years ago? One of the twin trunks has been bent down to the ground & a heavy object placed on it to keep it there. This coolabah trunk rerooted & kept on growing – a gulabaa on the move (if only about 20 mtrs every couple of hundred years or so)
Some manipulations have obvious architectural uses like these bent over coolabahs in a swamp in Stud paddock. This is an important camp with a cemented european well site & many TinTs. These bent coolabahs form the backbone of a large dwelling. During really bad droughts the ground water dries up & this clan would have had to move. When the rains returned, they returned & fresh sheets of bark would be cut & laid on the coolabah scaffolding. As we know as farmers – droughts don’t end they just move around & so did the people.