Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recovery of trees and plants after fire

from w
Although we were devastated by the loss of life and tragedies of the bushfires in Victoria a month or so ago, fire is a natural phenonema in our Australia bush and it takes the heat of such a fire to open the seeds of many species such as hakea and banksia, and for some plants to actually grow again. Tiny leaves form on the bark of trees or at the base, and the grass trees grow quickly. Even lilies grow again after a fire. Here are some photos of recovery after bushfire. We would not be so presumptuous as to drive to the blackened areas this time, but I remember Ash Wednesday we drove to Anglesea and Angahook forest because Peceli was a scout chaplain at the time and we needed to see the Euramella camp. When we drove that way three months later the recovery of the bush was remarkable, the gum trees green with new growth. The photos in the mosaic above are not mine, but 'borrowed' from the internet.

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Blogger Christine said...

My first effort was eaten by the ether! This is a new skill for me so I hope it works this time. The bush's capacity to regenerate after fire is a most amazing thing. The eucalypt develops new growth in the oddest places as shoots and leaves pop out to enable photosynthesis to occur and the life of the treee to be restored. A short shower of rain is often all that is needed to get the process going. Banksias and other seed bearing plants actually need the heat of fire to break open the 'cone' and release the seeds into the ground so that the next generation of plants can begin to grow. I suspect these examples are important symbols of what happens to us in life. We all go through very hard times - sometimes the consequence of our own choices but often they come out of the blue just because we are human and live in a flawed world. The heat of the fires of difficulty are often what enables new life to develop for us. We learn things about ourselves, about others, and about God that we cannot learn if life is smooth and uneventful. (How boring!) We will begin to grow again into new life as the gentle rain of the Spirit falls upon us and we will each grow in our own ways with 'hairy' bits popping out in unexpected places just like the eucalypts. Sometimes the seeds of new life in us only become available after the heat of life prepares us for what is to come. Perhaps this uniquely Australian capacity of regeneration is something we should explore as a antipodean symbol of Easter/Pascha as we remember solemnly the events that lead to Christ's death and the new life that became available to him and to all who entrust themselves to him. It's much more exciting than bulbs and lilies and daffodils let alone bunnies and eggs. Thanks for the blog. Christine. PS I agree that the UCA has got things rather skewed - the passion for 'justice' seems to have become disconnected from the love that looks for transformation for others.

2:52 AM  
Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

I heard about this phenomenon (bushfires helping plants reproduce and grow) during my bushwalk in the Blue Mountains when I was in Australia a few years ago. It's interesting to see it happening now.

It doesn't quite balance out the tragedy, but at least life goes on.

7:10 AM  

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