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.
Scary and fascinating, just to name a few. Perfect.
If trees could talk and tell their life-story, woodn’t that be fabulous. Imagine that!
Looking at a piece of wood often gets my imagination running wild. And so I drift off into the underwood’s past.
Is this a local timber?
Where do you come from?
What’s your story, mate?
What have you seen?
Are your siblings still standing?
And how long have you been adrift?
Every crack tells a story.
Every hole had previous occupants.
Maybe it has been drifting throughout the seven seas for decades?
Who wood actually know?
Driftwood largely collects on beaches in substantial numbers, shapes and sizes.
Some coastlines are vast tree cemeteries.
No doubt that some of these trees were dislodged from recent floods. We had plenty of them off late.
With recent exceedingly wet weather, many parts of Northern New South Wales are still submerged.
All of Australia received record-breaking rainfalls, hail and snow included.
As glorious as it looks, the hardship still remains.
The wet season here, on the driest continent on earth, started straight after imperceptible bushfires in 2019.
Fire and water had a devastating impact on human and nature. These climate patterns occur globally.
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!
The signs are ominous, we’ve reached cross-roads.
On a personal note, I don’t recognise my world anymore. This is not what I signed up for 53 years ago.
I am glad that I grew up before the turn of the century and experienced what Mother Nature really had to offer.
Sure, she wasn’t perfect then, but was perfect for me.
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.
Violent storms increase water movement drastically, inland and on the sea.
Huge swell penetrates the coastline, tossing everything onto land.
Interestingly for me, the intense water movement exposes previous storm damage. These trees have been buried in the sand over time.
They are the real gems in the underwood.
Micro organisms found a new home in odd-shaped pieces of wood.
The contours of the frames are fascinating and imaginative.
Not only do ferocious waters rush and destroy.
Silent waters are just as effective.
This is a more time-consuming concept.
Trees that have been submerged by flood waters over a long period are simply rotting away.
Washed-out roots can’t hold the weight of the tree to its tipping point.
The amazing aspect about wood is its variety in size, configuration and colour.
Hardwoods are still strong and heavy, even years after their downfall.
Nature tries its best to crack them down, but they just won’t budge.
The densest wood fibres are still connected.
The edges are smoothly edged out by nature’s finest chippies.
An already outstanding colour spectrum is painted in biological colours.
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.
Softwood has the opposite strategy. They maintain more string fibres than wood cells, which makes them very hard to separate.
Nature’s forces struggled with them as well. Being submerged in water for some time rinses out nutrients, which fertilize our waterways.
This rafter could just well be used as a rafter, it is incredibly light. And yet, compact and strong.
This is the perfect building material for my upcoming bower project.
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.
My imagination drifted as far and wide as the wood did before.
Each piece looks incredible and interesting in its way. Colours and patterns are one criterion.
Purpose was another factor.
And finally, shape and size determined its location.
Driftwood of all silhouettes and patterns were delicately placed around the original bower.
Decorations vary, there is so much I can add and hang onto.
Flowers fit perfectly in pinholes and look even more delicate.
All sorts of natural materials were implemented.
It didn’t end there.
The whole porch area had a wooden touch-up.
Natural plant pots, fabulous.
Bamboo seed bowls.
And holy guacamole.
It looks fabulous.
All combined, it generated an amusement park for birds and animals. I am just as excited.
Everyone is welcome, no matter what size.
Reflect on life.
Let time roll by, it is just pure and simple.
The best thing about this driftwood lodging is, that all dwellers are free to come and go as they wish.
And that’s exactly what they do. The birds and animals love it.
And so do I.
I believe it’s the only wild bird- and animal sanctuary in Australia!
Maybe it is the biggest in the world?
It feels like it though, it really does.