January 1, 2010

The battle of the big trees (Distance from postcard send: 9,022ish km)

Happy new year, everybody! Hope you all had a splendid evening with
your loved ones. Look forward to experiencing your apartment soon
this year, Andy. And more happy new year wishes to Lou 🙂

It seems a while ago that I was actually in Portugal (my photos are
being uploaded from the UK as a steady stream now that I am back). On
one of the grey wintery days, we took a drive past an area with huge
Eucaluptus trees my mum had told me about, with one particular
postcard in mind. Eucaluptus trees are in abundance in Portgual –
they were brought over from Australia due to their fast growth rate.
It apparently takes 12 years for a eucaluptus tree to grow to
sufficient size for timber, as opposed to 60-70 years for a pine tree,
we were told by a man wielding an axe on his plot of land one day.

There was a fictional face-off between the tree in the photo and the
real tree we stood beside.

Well, there is no way we can have a contest really, for 2 reasons:
– The tree pictured in the photo is no longer around;
– The Eucaluptus tree pictures will never be as big because… it
just physically can't grow to that size.

The tree in the postcard at Yosemite toppled in the winter of 1968/9
after having a big, gaping hole cut in it in 1881. Not bad going,
could you imagine living 87 years with a big hole like that? The
postcard was sent in by Sara.

To help bring the memory of this tree to life again, we took a trip to
the biggest Eucalyptus tree we could find and you'll see my mum having
a great time assisting in relaying the sheer size of this thing. No
cars will drive through it, but it's an impressive sight nevertheless.

Retreating to bed with NY hangover,

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