I’ve come across some interesting trees lately. Much easier on the eyes than looking down at the ground which is starting to resemble a moonscape. Drought has decimated the groundcover out here (except for cactus & noxious weeds). We have had only one good season in the last 6 years so it makes a pretty grim picture all round. But I found a deep steel axe cut made in a large existing scar yesterday. There was a dead stem hanging out of this wedge that gave the impression of an abandoned planter box. The dead plant was probably a yam vine (Marsdenia viridiflora) as this area is thick with yams living inside scartrees. The question is, were the yams tubers planted inside the trees or did they grow there naturally? I have a few examples of trees (Wilga & Bumble) growing inside Bimble box trees in a parasitic way. These 2 in 1 trees are always associated with heavily scarred or cultural tool making areas. Gaagulu yam or Native potato as it was sometimes called has big watery tubers (Giban) the size of grapefruit and was relied on to relieve thirst & hunger.
Another interesting CMT is the water holding scartree. This tree has a low coolamon with 2 big epicormics shoots that seem to act like channels funnelling the rain water down inside the tree where it’s stored. There hasn’t been enough rain lately for this to happen & I can’t remember when or where I saw the tree but I came across the photo this week. Possibly some low coolamons were cut for that purpose ie to hold water in the hollow tree trunk? Allan Tighe says the ground coolamons were memorial scars for dead babies but generations later the natural healing process of the Bimble box may have resulted in this water holding capability. When it rains I will have another look for this particular tree.
As to the see thru trees, I think these come about through deep scarring on each side (for whatever cultural reason) then the faces fall out over time leaving a tunnel thru the tree. Or maybe a scar on one side & branch tear on the other or some systemic dieback that leads to a sealed passage thru the tree. There are many holey trees here and this may have been accidental or the intended result. Any strange tree sculpturing would be recorded in the songlines and navigated by. The Narran Lake reserve in flood (about 30 ks N/West ) would have been as important as the Bunya nuts or Bogong moths to International people ie those from other first nations.