I’ve now completed a series of PowerPoint presentations on the environmental history of south-west Australia. I gave the first presentation of this slideshow last Friday night. The location for the projection was fitting: a clearing amongst marri and paperbark woodland ten minutes drive east of the small town of Yallingup, three hours drive south of Perth, and many thousand light years beneath a covering of stars. There were around twenty people there for the projection, and it was well appreciated. If you’d like to come to the next presentation send me an email and I’ll set it up: tom at tmwilson.org
When I arrived at the house of my friend Steve Andrews, the location for the projection, the first thing I did was climb a big old paperbark on his property. At the very top of the tree I sat and looked out across the tops of the surrounding trees. I could feel the limb I was sitting on move gently beneath me. The tree was swaying in the wind and I enjoyed feeling this motion through my body. The feeling helped me leave behind the monotonous rigidity of riding in a car and enter into the spirit of the place. Then a Western Spinebill, a beautiful little brown collared bird with a long black beak endemic to the south-west, hopped out of the foliage into my field of vision. I don’t think he was used to encountering humans at the top of trees before, and I felt welcomed to the place by his bold approach.