Being able to work amongst the ancient River Red gums on the banks of the Murray River is a real privilege, requiring a moment every now and then to stop, breathe and appreciate their… What is it exactly?
Perhaps it’s their tremendous air of age and permanence, the way their strong branches sit with hollows that you know are full of creatures. The sound of the faint breeze in their leaves and the comings and goings of birds. The tranquility of the slow movement of leaves with a breath of air. The combination of shade and open canopy. The mix of whites, browns and grey-olive-green of leaves, or the beautiful bark patterns expressed this time of year. And the way new generations thrive alongside, shedding numbers with age, from thousands of saplings to hundreds, then to tens, to one huge old tree every so often.
Our job as Rangers is to support these venerable trees, keeping them safe from the damage done by livestock, by people and machines, and making sure they are not outdone by the ever encroaching invasive weeds. Its often hard work, rewarded by these moments of tranquility and the knowledge that we are making a difference.
It can also be dangerous, and we always keep in mind, especially at this time of year, the dangers of working around eucalypts. Falling limbs are an ever present hazard, and not just in a high wind. Days like this, still and warm, are especially deceptive, as this may well be the day when a huge old tree drops a limb.
We ask that park users keep this front of mind when our appreciating our iconic River Reds in particular.
Please enjoy these photos of from our workday today on Gateway Island, and call us if you’d like to join us!