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I would SO miss the conifers. I don't know how you can bear it.





That kind of path is very attractive to me. Then again, I tend to favor monotony in music, too.


There's a soil colour word missing J. Should you drive from any of the peripheral cities, through the axis to the other side (say, Sydney to Broome, that'll do it) there is only one colour you remember. Red. Glad you're back, wherever, safely.


Cupressaceae is actually thought to be a Gondwanan family, so its probably no surprise that Callitris is in Australia, along with Actinostrobus etc...And I would disagree that conifers are unimportant in the Australian flora, given the importance of Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae - at least in an historical sense...Nice blog though :D


X. Yes, "unimportant" was too vague. What I meant is that there are only a few places in Australia where you can find a forest dominated and defined by its conifers. In the North American west where I come from, there are very few forests where conifers are not the dominant tree.

I hadn't known of the Gondwanan origin of Cupressaceae. It's such a vast and diverse family in the Northern Hemisphere, and so attenuated in the south, that I assumed its origin was near the centre of its diversity. But now that you mention it, I do recall meeting some obscure genera in New Caledonia.

Xavier Goldie

Yes Neocallitropsis is found in New Caledonia...the issue with centre of diversity vs. centre of diversity is such a perennial one too...I don't think that we'll ever really be able to resolve it without a good fossil record, which sadly is usually lacking!


I am interested in your observations about what you call the uniform grey of the landscape in Australia because I suspect they ring true for many urban Australians (there are few others) who also have, at best, a passing acquaintance with a country in which the substance of subtlety is overlooked and swamped by the enduring ephemera of cliche.

It has taken generations for Australian of the latest invasion to accept there is any real beauty in their landscape unless it is filtered by their inherited other world sensibilities. And even then only certain imagery is acceptable and many Australian's would not be prepared to accept that the callitris of Australia really do belong here. And then the araucaria species and the Lagarostrobos, none of which form invasive forests like northern hemisphere pines, are rarely seen by most Australians and are regarded as exotic in a loose sense of that word.

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