Monday, 31 July 2017

River gums and more

We're on the road north of Kalgoorlie and Leonora, heading for the mining town of Leinster. The road, like all the bitumen roads in this area, is amazing. It's wide and smooth, the shoulders are graded perfectly, the water runoffs are all well-maintained. And the reason is that there is money in gold and all the minerals mined between Norseman and Geraldton. We see a lot of roadtrains on the road and they're not there for the local station owners, they're there because of the mining industry and they need good roads.

So it can be easy to be mesmerised by the road because there are few geographical features and the vegetation can be almost like a monoculture. It's grey, even though there are a number of species, and of uniform height. Mulga, saltbush, mulga, mulga. I find it fascinating.

So it came as something of a surprise when I'd been viewing mulga and saltbush, mulga and ... ?? River Redgum!!

River Redgum

It was the first redgum we'd seen. We pulled in to have a closer look and discovered an information board which stated that we were looking at Eucaltptus camaldulensis var. obtusa the first of the river red gums that grow to the north and east of this spot. It's related to Eucalyptus camaldulensis var. camaldulensis that grows in the Eastern states.

Thunderbox Mine, one of numerous mines in the west
And some more flowering plants on the rocky red plains.

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