Tree Stuff and other stuff

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Day one today of a four-day weekend to see part of the school holidays. It was nice.

It started with taking one child to visit a friend and on the way we passed some new street tree planting in Merewether and later in the day I saw the same in Islington. I was happy to see there were no powerlines above the trees to muck things up down the track.

Then I drove up to Strzlecki Lookout and saw two whales apparently having fun out to sea.  Spotting whales makes me so optimistic about the future: if we can wake up to ourselves about whales perhaps we can do the same about other things while there’s still time. I have said this before but in the course of a few decades we’ve gone from never seeing a whale to being able to sit for just twenty minutes to see two.

I read about a California tree protest that lasted from 2006 to 2008. The University of California at Berkeley wanted to build an athletics track and there was a grove of coast oak trees on the land where the track was supposed to go. Apparently it’s illegal to cut down coast oaks – but the university was exempt from this rule. So people protested for ages until (and even after) the courts gave the university the go-ahead to take down the trees.

Two stories amazed me: 80- and 90-year-old women climbed the trees and sat on platforms to make their point, and there was a large naked demonstration where  a group of people gathered in front of police, then took all their clothing off and lay down before them. I wondered whether Newcastle would ever see something similar about Laman Street.

I saw a new sculpture in front of the art gallery at lunchtime. I should obviously read more media releases because I hadn’t seen any publicity about this.  I’ll take a picture and post it. There’s also a new section of anti-graffiti art in town which looked great in the paper.

The Lovett Gallery in Laman Street has the annual BBC Wildlife Photography exhibition which we whizzed past and will have to go back to. As always all the photos were fantastic.

And still on wildlife, Brisbane Bat Care have listed the winter-flowering trees that provide food for flying foxes, who are having a hard time this year because of food shortages and cold:

  ‘Plant native winter flowering trees to help them survive. Paperbarks, Eucalypts, Swamp Mahogany, Eleocarpus, Lilypily, Koda Vine, Silky Oaks, Sandpaper figs, Banksia integrifolia & serrata.’

And in Detroit the world’s largest urban farm is about to start: poor Detroit has greatly reduced its population with movement of car manufacture to Mexico and other changes in the domestic car market in the US, so Detroit has loads of vacant lots and derelict houses. A millionaire businessman who lives there is about to start buying up these lots and planting vegetables and fruit trees on them. Good on him.

And a Massachusetts newspaper is going to charge people 99 cents to leave a comment, paying for this with their credit card and using the name on the credit card to publish the post. Great news.    Home

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