See Grantville’s Grass Tree forest
with hundreds of skirted trees
with creamy spikes of flowers
standing tall in any breeze.
Note the thickness of the spikes
the way they reach up high
they look to reach to Heaven
or at least into the sky.
First Peoples ate the roots
tender leaf bases, points of stems;
the seeds they ground for damper
cooked in ash from coals like gems.
They dug up grubs from base of trunks
got honey from nests in stalks.
They used resin to glue their spears
to bring down prey like hawks.
After fire, spikes bloom en masse
it’s quite a sight to see.
In dry heathy woodland
grass trees stand out markedly.
A botanical phenomena
you won’t forget in time,
you’ll hold the marvel with you
and maybe write it down in rhyme.
The photo shows some of the many hundreds of grass trees in the Grass Tree forest in Victoria at the Grantville Nature Conservation Reserve and sand mine next to it. Thanks to intense bushfires in the area on Feb 1-3, 2019, by October many hundreds of burned grass trees had sent up magnificent creamy-white flower spikes, some as thick as an adult arm. A natural botanical phenomenon and maybe the best Grass Tree display ever seen in Australia. Sadly, the forest is under threat from sand mining.
Meryl Brown Tobin, Grantville.