A Banksia Memory

Last weekend I went for a walk through a local park where my daughter and her family live. On one side of the winding path there were green fields with children’s play equipment in the distance. On the other side as we walked, there was a gurgling stream with one or two wild ducks enjoying an afternoon siesta, web deep in the water. We stopped to flash our cameras about now and then at some flowers and interesting things along the pathway.

I stared at a large banksia bush growing between the path and creek and my  mind instantly raced back -well I’m not sure my mind can race these days- but be that as it may, the banksia bush did have the power to transport me back to faraway days and now-no-longer playmates.

Because we lived in what would be described as “the bush”, we were free to roam at will in our playing, and our imaginations were regularly exercised to create those games we enjoyed. One of them included the banksia bushes that grew near our home, and in what we thought of as our playground.The “candles” on the banksia look like this, and at this stage are silky soft to the touch.


Or when they are dried,P1040022 they look like this, and feel tough.

We loved to gather some of the banksia candles and make ourselves a “farm” where the sheep were duly brought in for shearing. The sheep of course were our banksia candles.

They indeed made excellent subjects for gently pulling off the long strands of “wool” and piling it in our sheds or wool holding areas.

Innocent times of childish happiness that came swiftly to my mind as I gazed at the banksia bush last weekend, and that prompted me to take these photographs to match the mental ones that had been evoked.


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