thomas m wilson

Arriving back in Australia.

May 13th, 2008

I’ve made the journey over the Pacific and to Australia.  I arrived yesterday morning and caught a taxi to my friend’s Annie’s place on a quiet and leafy street of Bondi.  The streets here in Bondi are full of subtropical plants and trees.  Sydney gets a little bit of rain throughout the year, unlike the long dry summers of Perth, so these kinds of rainforest plants grow better here than in the west.  On the plane over I’d read Lost Worlds, a book on a naturalist’s experiences of the lowland and montane tropical rainforests of Papua New Guinea by Bruce Beehler of Conservation International.   Amazing to learn that the most remote place on earth is probably the Fojo Mountain range of western New Guinea – just north of Australia – a tropical forest fastness full of undescribed species that is truly worthy of being called a Lost World (unlike most rainforest wildernesses around the world even the indigenous land users haven’t been up there).  I feel great when I’m around the diversity, colour and fecundity of tropical rainforest ecosystems, and it is nice to have little intimations of them on the streets of Sydney.

Walking down to the beach at Bondi the blue of the water came as a welcome shock to my eyes.  Knowing that the water here is about 20 degrees celcius gives the place a different atmosphere to the shore of the frigid Pacific in Northern California.   Ah, welcome to Australia…

Walking around the cliffs by Bondi you see the wind-sculpted sandstone that hundreds of British men and women would have peered at as eleven wooden ships sailed into Sydney harbour 220 years ago.   It is good to be back.