Thursday, July 15, 2010

nature strip

Quite a few Saturdays ago, as I was leaving the house, I noticed an orange dot sprayed on the tree outside. I felt sorry for our tree, having been brought up to understand that trees are generally good and cutting them down is generally bad, and knowing that orange spray paint on a tree more often than not precedes its felling. I forgot about it though, until I came home from work a week or so later and it was gone. In it's place was a stump, which the following morning had sprouted a wilted bouquet of flowers and a couple of candles in memorium (I'll admit the flowers were me, they needed getting rid of and the stump seemed a little more interesting than the compost heap this time, the candles are a mystery though). Over the course of the following week, more trees were chopped, replaced with piles of wood, which I suppose if we had a fireplace that wasn't purely decorative may have been a slight compensation.

Three trees were left alone and I fear for their future, with tops only just clearing the powerlines I imagine they'll be gone within the year, leaving us with nothing. Last week though, I was walking home and passed a baby tree, not in the space of an old one but in between two of the stumps spaced along the sidewalk. The spaces further down the street were punctuated with white rectangles, which I guessed were reserving space for more little trees. I was pleased to be proven right over the next few days.

Our stump eventually disappeared, along with its shrine, in its place a pile of chips and sawdust that found its way up our path and through the house. A few metres to either side, in front of the houses next door, new trees were planted which I think may be Magnolias. They're only my height but I'm hopeful they're mature enough to flower this Spring, so I can send photos to my mother.

Days after the Magnolias, taller, spindleyer treelings appeared down the middle of the road, flanked by thick wooden posts decorated with reflectors. More of those spindley trees were planted on the street, curbside, outside our house and a few others, replacing a parking space with poles for bikes to be locked to. I forgave our city council.

The six or so trees chopped from our block have been replaced with maybe 20 new ones, a few different varieties, possibly as part of the $7.2million 'rescue package' for drought ridden trees in Melbourne which I read recently about in Monocle, but which I may have known about earlier had I paid attention to the newsletters and things that appear in our mailbox on a regular basis from the City of Yarra.

On a similar note: A new park is replacing a car park across the road from my work soon. I might take some pictures because I am quite excited about this transformation. There's really nowhere to go to eat lunch unless you're buying around here and apparently this development will 'double Collingwood's green space' which is interesting (and sad?) because it really doesn't seem that big. Hopefully the wireless from work will reach across the street...

Have you ever heard the term 'nature strip?' in Melbourne it's the name of the strip of grass and trees down the middle of very wide streets. People sometimes hang out and have barbeques on them, and I've seen people sitting alone, reading a book on them too. I'd never heard the term before living here but I like it and its kind of kinky, kind of not -ness. I have adopted it for use when describing a particular pubic hair formation, though that isn't something I describe very often.
The first photo is from a folder on my desktop and I'm not sure who took it, the other two were taken by Alex de Mora, who I think I've posted about before.

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