I ride to work through side streets to avoid the busy roads. There’s very little traffic so I spend most of my time looking around and listening to the radio on my phone (headphone cords act as antennae!). I noticed a flower on a tree that I’d never seen before. I made a point of changing the route of my next run to pass it, so I could look at it up close. It’s fascinating.
Several days later I took my camera to work, and stopped by this tree on my way home to take some pictures. I was busily shooting when an older gentleman came up to me from next door with his lawn mower.
When I got home I talked to Ben online, who was at the library working:
me: I just met the nicest person, taking pictures.
I was taking pictures of that tree I showed you yesterday
and he lives nextdoor, and was coming out to edge his lawn.
he asked me if I was taking pictures of a bird, in which case he’d not start his machine and scare it away.
6:25 PM I said no, I’m just taking pictures of these flowers, they’re so unusual.
Do you know what they are?
6:26 PM He said, well, I think it’s called a fire wheel tree, but that’s not the real name… the woman who used to live there told me the scientific name more than once, but I can’t remember, I don’t think.
I thanked him, he went to edging, I went to shoooting.
6:27 PM A bit later he came walking over to me with his edger on idle, and said, this might not be right either, but there’s a tree called the Illawarra Flame Tree, named after the place, Illawarra. That might be it. I don’t know if that’ll help, but maybe you could look them up.
So I said yes, even if they aren’t scientific names, I’m sure they’ll bring up information online, thank you!
Then I went back to shooting.
6:28 PM When I was done I asked him if I could take his picture, as the person who told me what the flowers were.
He said he wasn’t very photogenic, but ok.
I did, showed him, and he said “you can always delete it.”
me: I rode away, got home, got my camera out of the bag
me: and discovered I dropped my dragon change bag somewhere while I was getting out a new memory card.
me: So I got dressed again and rode back to all the places I had been
and as I rode past him to the tree where I had been taking pictures, he waved me over
6:30 PM and said he knew it had to belong to me! He was going to call the hospital tomorrow to try and return it (we’d chatted about work)
I like him.
The wonderful Ross
While he was edging and I was shooting, a noisy miner did show up to drink some nectar, noise or no noise! It’s not a great picture, but it’s all I’ve got.
*note: Stenocarpus sinuatus is a tree native to Australia, more frequently found further to the tropical north.
**note: Noisy Miners sure do live up to their name! We have a family living outside our living room window, and they’ve had at least one clutch of young so far. They can lay eggs several times a year (and are veeeeery territorial when they do! They’ll swoop and call and even attack you if you get too close). When the young are fledging, they go through a long phase of experimenting with their voices and cycling through the weirdest most bizarre calls before settling on the more typical adult miner call. It’s been entertaining to listen to!