Beneath the eucalypt tree I can faintly smell its leaves and hear a shrill myna searching for nectar above. The red and pink fluffy stamen of gumnuts surround my feet in a carpet on the ground, in a similar way that my hair lines the floor after a haircut.
It’s possible strong winds have come through recently and given the branches a good shake, but not all of the gumnuts have lost their flower. Many still have their fuzzy stamen in place. One branch is hanging low enough for me to reach and I can’t help ruffle a blossom between my fingers and sniff the sweet pollen.
If one were to make a typical palette for the Australian landscape, there would be a lot of greens and browns, but not many would include the fuscia and magenta I can see in these flowers.