Posts Tagged ‘tolkein’

Bunya Mountain

November 27, 2013

 I have been to a number of forests now that have evoked images of Middle Earth and Tolkein’s Ent Forest. DoveLake in the Cradle Mountain NP and the huon pine forests on the GordonRiver in Tassie come to mind. More recently I was on BunyaMountain amongst Bunya Pines so big that their trunks seemed to be crinkling up at the base under the weight of  the vast tree above. Like an old man  with his pants a bit too big for him.

 

We went for a walk through the forest late in the afternoon, dawdling as we gazed up to see the pine fronds silhouetted against the sky. The tree ferns hundreds of feet above on the trunk of a crooked red cedar tree – the only one we found. The beautiful soft hoop pines and huge strangler figs. I would not have been surprised if the splayed feet  of one had moved and I’d been picked up and placed high on its shoulders. Anyway, it started to get dark and peering into the bush, trying to identify a little bird We noticed a tiny bright light move in the grass. As we walked they started , like a fairy land, flashing, intensely bright but tiny lights moving across the path and through the bush. It was stunning. As the path led us through the trunk of a giant fig tree the low growl of hundreds of frogs started, feeling dizzy from the lights I was sure I was on another world.

 

I have been thinking of the loggers and their families whose lives and industry this mountain supported for a hundred years. They would have thought the timber would last forever. Even when the cedar ran out,- logged virtually out of existence – the people whose lives depended on the industry would have seen no alternative but to move on and log the pines. Such beautiful straight trees would be perfect for building. In the end though, the lives of these people, like the rest of us are but the blink of an eye in the life of this mountain. What did they achieve for their hard work and dedication? They very nearly destroyed a landscape that had outlasted the dinosaurs.

Perhaps in another hundred years or so the forest will recover across much of the mountain but time has shed light on the falsehood and the transience of the loggers efforts against the timeless beauty of the forest.

 

To the people, the families and businesses who are now defending their right to log in the old forests of Tasmania. I see you so defiant and angry on TV as if the greenies are lunatics trying to destroy a way of life and an industry. I suggest you visit the red cedar forests of the north to see the real cost of your industry. You are destroying so much to create so little.

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