Miss-Understood doesn’t live in Underwood, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Driftwood drifts in water, who wood know? But I beg to differ. I have a unique conception of where it gets its name from. All sorts of different woods are washed up on waterways, scurrilous and exciting.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Smoking hot @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Scary and fascinating, just to name a few. Perfect.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Imaginative @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

If trees could talk and tell their life-story, woodn’t that be fabulous. Imagine that!

Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Vivid imagination @Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Looking at a piece of wood often gets my imagination running wild. And so I drift off into the underwood’s past.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Collectables @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Is this a local timber?

Dorrigo, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Tales and valleys @Dorrigo, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Where do you come from?

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Tall timber @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

What’s your story, mate? 

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Australian bush @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

What have you seen?

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Siblings @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Are your siblings still standing?

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Drift stop @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

And how long have you been adrift?

Hungry Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia
New story @Hungry Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Every crack tells a story.

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Cracked @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Every hole had previous occupants.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Holy @Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Maybe it has been drifting throughout the seven seas for decades?

Nambucca Headland, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Tumbled and tossed @Nambucca Headland, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Who wood actually know?

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Classroom @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Driftwood largely collects on beaches in substantial numbers, shapes and sizes.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Beach art @Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Some coastlines are vast tree cemeteries.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Driftwood cemetary @ Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

No doubt that some of these trees were dislodged from recent floods. We had plenty of them off late.

Bellingen, Northern New South Wales, Australia
River floods @Bellingen, Northern New South Wales, Australia

With recent exceedingly wet weather, many parts of Northern New South Wales are still submerged.

Woodburn, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Devastating Floods @Woodburn, Northern New South Wales, Australia

All of Australia received record-breaking rainfalls, hail and snow included.

Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Vision fogged @Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

As glorious as it looks, the hardship still remains.

Near Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Stunning reflections @Near Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The wet season here, on the driest continent on earth, started straight after imperceptible bushfires in 2019.

Bellingen, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Natural impact @Bellingen, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Fire and water had a devastating impact on human and nature. These climate patterns occur globally.

Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Global outlook @Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

There isn’t one continent on this planet that didn’t have reoccurring and disastrous nature events, one way or the other. The Sahara desert flooded knee-deep in Oman!

Hat Head National Park, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Desert Sand @Hat Head National Park, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The signs are ominous, we’ve reached cross-roads.

Woodburn, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Woodflood @Woodburn, Northern New South Wales, Australia

On a personal note, I don’t recognise my world anymore. This is not what I signed up for 53 years ago.

Bellingen, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Twisted World @Bellingen, Northern New South Wales, Australia

I am glad that I grew up before the turn of the century and experienced what Mother Nature really had to offer.

Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Turning point @Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Sure, she wasn’t perfect then, but was perfect for me.

Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Perfect World @Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Weather, wars and virus set aside, many people have lost their human touch. Communication skills are replaced by apps. Passwords replaced identity. There is no app for passion and common sense. I have had some setbacks in recent years and questioned my ‘happy-go-lucky,Ben’ attitude. Only to realise on how lucky I still am in comparison to others. A hardworking and dedicated father of 3 very young children stays at home, whilst his partner meets friends for a social gathering. She got robbed and beaten badly by some thugs and woke up in hospital in the early morning hours. He couldn’t just pack up his three children to visit their mother. Even worse, the police knocks on his door the next day, accusing him of domestic violence. A house search and a restraining order had been issued against him. Child welfare arrives shortly after checking up on his little kids. I just can’t comprehend, 

Miss-Understood just doesn’t live in Underwood.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Confused @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Violent storms increase water movement drastically, inland and on the sea.

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Force of Nature @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Huge swell penetrates the coastline, tossing everything onto land.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Wooden shoreline @Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Interestingly for me, the intense water movement exposes previous storm damage. These trees have been buried in the sand over time.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Uncovered @Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

They are the real gems in the underwood.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Gem @Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Micro organisms found a new home in odd-shaped pieces of wood.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Housing committee @Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The contours of the frames are fascinating and imaginative.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Collectables @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Not only do ferocious waters rush and destroy.

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Rushed away @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Silent waters are just as effective.

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Tranquil @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

This is a more time-consuming concept.

Near Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Macadamia @ Near Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Trees that have been submerged by flood waters over a long period are simply rotting away.

Bellingen shire, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Rollercoaster @Bellingen shire, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Washed-out roots can’t hold the weight of the tree to its tipping point.

Bellingen shire, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Tipping Point @Bellingen shire, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The amazing aspect about wood is its variety in size, configuration and colour.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Natural creation @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Hardwoods are still strong and heavy, even years after their downfall.

Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Crackdown @Lismore, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Nature tries its best to crack them down, but they just won’t budge.

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Hardwood @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The densest wood fibres are still connected.

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Hardwood @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The edges are smoothly edged out by nature’s finest chippies.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Chippie! @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Yippie! Chippies!

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Yippieee! @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

An already outstanding colour spectrum is painted in biological colours.

Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Colour spectrum @Orara Valley, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Mother Nature’s at her finest. She tried to bust this lumber and succeeded in a way. But not with this particular piece of, much to everyone’s joy. 

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Enjoyment @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Softwood has the opposite strategy. They maintain more string fibres than wood cells, which makes them very hard to separate.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Fibre @Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Nature’s forces struggled with them as well. Being submerged in water for some time rinses out nutrients, which fertilize our waterways.

Patch's Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Holy Moly @Patch’s Beach, Northern New South Wales, Australia

This rafter could just well be used as a rafter, it is incredibly light. And yet, compact and strong.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Soft touch @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

This is the perfect building material for my upcoming bower project.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Wood shop @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

All this wood was washed up in local waterways and it was fun collecting them. It took a bit of effort but it was well worth it.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Builder @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

My imagination drifted as far and wide as the wood did before.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Guacamole? @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Each piece looks incredible and interesting in its way. Colours and patterns are one criterion.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Shapes @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Purpose was another factor.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Purpose @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

And finally, shape and size determined its location.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Shark-fin @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Driftwood of all silhouettes and patterns were delicately placed around the original bower.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Set up @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Decorations vary, there is so much I can add and hang onto.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Balloons @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Flowers fit perfectly in pinholes and look even more delicate.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Pin-point @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

All sorts of natural materials were implemented.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Coconutty @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

It didn’t end there.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Uprising @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The whole porch area had a wooden touch-up.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Wooden Perch @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Natural plant pots, fabulous.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Life @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Bamboo seed bowls.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Observant @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

And holy guacamole.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Outstanding @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

It looks fabulous.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Amusement Park @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

All combined, it generated an amusement park for birds and animals. I am just as excited.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Joyride @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Everyone is welcome, no matter what size.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Big and small @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Refresh.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Waterhole @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Refuel.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
A crowd favourite @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Relax.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Sun blessing @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Reflect on life.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Reflections @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Let time roll by, it is just pure and simple.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Purity @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The best thing about this driftwood lodging is, that all dwellers are free to come and go as they wish.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Multiplied @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

And that’s exactly what they do. The birds and animals love it.

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Love it @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

And so do I. 

I believe it’s the only wild bird- and animal sanctuary in Australia!

Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Eco-friendly @Valla, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Maybe it is the biggest in the world?

Bellingen, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Worldly eyes @Bellingen, Northern New South Wales, Australia

It feels like it though, it really does. 

One thought on “Miss-Understood doesn’t live in Underwood, Northern New South Wales, Australia

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