I guess there must be bloggers out there who struggle to find something to write about. I am not one of them 🙂 I have a mental list a mile long that I intend to write. But then things just pop up and I want to let you know about it. Well, to be truthful, I want to write about it, and I just hope that you want to know! Today was one of those times.
I have a regular Thursday painting time in the Botanical Gardens, up near the Shrine. I parked, put money in the meter, went to pick up the key to the room and …..oops, I forgotten that it wasn’t on today. So I had some “free time”. I had paid for the parking space. Can’t waste that $4. Off I went for a walk into the glorious Botanic Gardens. (I must add The Botanic Gardens to my I-must-blog-about-this-list.)
First I found this lovely fern garden in the Kings Domain, just outside the gate to the gardens.
Then I came across something that piqued my interest.
The gate was closed because gardeners were doing tree work, on the very large bunya bunya pines. These are native to Queensland and grow tall and straight.
However, they have enormous pine cones, which need to be removed. If they were to fall on someone’s head…….
This is the size of the cone
I don’t know how many were on the tree, but there must have been a lot, because these are the ones the gardeners have picked up. And the chap was still up in the tree, cutting away at cones.
The nuts are quite edible — or so I am told! These ones were not ripe, but you can see how many nuts there would be tucked into the creases of the cone. Aborigines would celebrate the ripening of the nuts with feasts and gatherings.
Wikkipedia has this to say about Aboriginal tribes in the Bunya Mountains:
As the fruit ripened, locals, who were bound by custodial obligations and rights, sent out messengers to invite people from hundreds of kilometres to meet at specific sites. The meetings involved ceremonies, dispute settlements and fights, marriage arrangements and the trading of goods.
Indigenous people had a number of uses for the nuts, again from Wikipedia
Indigenous people eat the nut of the bunya tree both raw and cooked (roasted, and in more recent times boiled), and also in its immature form. Traditionally, the nuts were additionally ground and made into a paste, which was eaten directly or cooked in hot coals to make bread. The nuts were also stored in the mud of running creeks, and eaten in a fermented state. This was considered a delicacy.
The cones I saw came from one tree. Imagine how many there would be to eat and share in the natural habitat!
Sorry, I can’t offer you a taste of the nuts. You will have to be content with some photos of a lovely end-of-summer border.