As you walk along the waterfront at Fannie Bay you might think that autumn has indeed come to Darwin mid-summer (ignoring the fact we never have an autumn). Trees are half-green, half-brown, leaves drift from the trees like early snowflakes and scatter to the ground. Why this strange autumnal phenomenon? Well in our years here we’ve never seen it happen like this before: a combination of strong wind, high tides and heavy salt spray has coated the leaves killing them with their burden of salt and windburn. Local gardens near the waterfront have been decimated by the winds and salt. How long will it all take to recover I wonder?
This poor bottle tree (front left below) has been stripped on the windward side. Hopefully it’s reserves of water, held in the trunk, will make it more resilient to the effects of the salt…or might it make things worse? Will the tree absorb the salt into its water reserves? Time alone will tell.
Meanwhile a typical Wet Season storm is building up in the sky and slowly the salt may be flushed from the plants. Thunder has been rolling around the sky for hours. Take a seat and be astonished by nature’s forces.