Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nothing but trees

My place in time #33

If you drove along the Princes highway between Millicent and Mount Gambier, this is the view you would most remember, besides the fields of sheep and cows. It is the same view across many parts of the lower South East of South Australia.


I travelled the highway every school day of my high school life, watched the pines from the seat of the Tenison College school bus. Dotted along the side of the road are also apple trees. I like to think they've grown from apple cores being tossed out the bus windows by school kids over  the years.

I remember our bus driver never liked us eating on the bus. I ate an orange once and nearly got away with it, except for the idiot kid who purposely bumped my hand, resulting in orange peel being flung high in the air and scattered several seats away. Little prick! Sid (our driver), wouldn't let me get off the bus without sweeping the bus out when I got to school. He wasn't all bad. He'd let us play our music on the cassette player, usually Bon Jovi or Guns n Roses, until he got sick of the behaviour and Dolly Parton or some other unbearable country music would come on. I must say I wasn't in trouble much at school, I was one of the quiet ones. Dolly and Kenny Rogers have become much more bearable as I've aged.

I spent my primary school years in Nangwarry, another small town surrounded by pine plantations, again travelling by bus, from Kalangadoo. So these trees have been a big part of my life.





Block number, and year of planting underneath


It's so beautifully quiet, just the birds, the cracking of wood underfoot. Eerie at the same time.


In the past these trees have supported jobs for thousands of families in this region. My dad felled trees in the forest(and has many lifelong friends from it), and went on to work in the Kalangadoo Timber Mill. I even worked in the Carter Holt Harvey Nangwarry Mill 15 years ago, on a production line making laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or what you would probably recognise as plywood. Hubby used to cart pine chips to Portland for export, and work out of the various mills in the region. Kalangadoo Mill is closed, Nangwarry Mill is closed and the company hubby used to work for no longer carts chip to Portland, due to the Gunns collapse.


The state government has sold off the plantations in the lower south east to private investors(The Campbell Group) for the next three rotations. It takes about 35 years for trees to be ready for harvest, so 105 years. Long time. There was much protest by local businesses and people, to no avail. 

post footer photo Tan-Diamond-Fl-Trim-GE_zps0452dd99.png

'My place in time' is a local area history photo project. You can see the original challenge at the blackcurrant photography blog.


26 comments:

  1. Funny how I also posted about trees today - from a different perspective. Some beautiful pictures and lovely memories you evoke. Visiting via IBOT.

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  2. Wow what a beautiful part of the world.

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  3. as a city girl I loved your story and photos. as a political chick i feel sad for the ending...

    thank you for sharing with us

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    1. I was going to rant on about that, but I thought it best to let it be. I didn't want to ruin a perfectly good post about trees :)

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  4. We were stung by the Gunns collapse in a different way. I think their collapse was felt far and wide.
    The trees are stunning. It's lovely that after seeing them day after day that you still have an appreciation for them :)
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

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  5. I used to love driving past tree plantations as a kid with the trees all lined up in row after row.

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    1. I never got bored at looking at them. I loved the moment your view was dead straight down between a row, and then it was gone as we passed.

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  6. Funny I used always think how beautiful the plantation trees were when I drove from Bathurst to the coast regularly when I was at uni. It is sad that state government has sold them off now :(

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  7. What a great folk history project. You reminded me of the school bus I took for four years to high school, we called the driver Black Jock cos he had that swarthy look of a coal miner. He ruled that bus. I have a soft spot for pine plantations, we'd see them when we drove over tot he west coast of Scotland on our summer holidays. Gorgeous.

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  8. What a lovely story, thank you. Living in the city, I often don't have an appreciation for what happens outside my own 600sqm home. Lovely photos ... and I do love the smell of pine trees. Cheers, Alison #IBOT.

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  9. We had lots of pine tree plantations in and around where I grew up in NZ, I love the smell, we always had a pine tree at Xmas, and the smell is one of my fav's ever :)

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    1. Many a christmas tree would have come from around these forests!

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  10. We drove from Adelaide to Melbourne when I was a kid, and I remember gazing out the window at those trees, just marvelling at them in their perfect, neat little rows. So very beautiful they are.

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  11. Beautiful images, I love to see all those gorgeous trees!

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    1. It was pretty spectacular driving through, so peaceful when I stopped the car and walked amongst them. Very eerie too.

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  12. I love trees - and that is one of the main reason why we are looking to buy acerage - to be closer to trees and some open space !
    Have the best week !
    Me

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    1. Funny you should say that. Powers Road where I took the last picture has land for sale, probably the same sheep paddocks!

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  13. That's a beautiful place to spend your life. The great Australian outdoors! Very lucky.

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  14. Beautiful photos-they really tell a story!! A lovely place you live in x

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  15. what a beautiful yet melancholy story, your images make me want to escape under those trees for the day and just let my mind wander xx
    Josefa from #teamIBOT

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  16. I love trees. They are the one reason why I would ever move. We live in "Cornville" and the land is so flat we joke that we can see the next town over. It's a sad day when a tree is cut.

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