Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Colours in the dry tropics

At this time of the year, as the dry season draws to a hot finish, the colours we mainly see around are the dry browns and even the burnt out blacks. Some of our plants, however, try valiantly to show some colour to the remaining visitors and locals, as they struggle towards the “green season” when the wet arrives.

The aboriginal people from the Kakadu area call this time of the year Gurrung, and consider that it is from mid-August to mid-October, and is hot and dry. It is still 'goose time' but also time for Bininj/Mungguy (the name of the people) to hunt file snakes and long-necked turtles. Sea turtles lay their eggs on the sandy beaches of Field Island and West Alligator Head and goannas rob their nests sometimes. White-breasted wood swallows arrive as thunderclouds build, signalling the return of Gunumeleng - the pre-monsoon season of hot weather that becomes more and more humid.
Department of the Environment and Water Resources website.

I have looked around for some colour, and following are a few photos to show some of the variations.

Even the palms try white with the brown.

Red seeds of the Carpentaria palm are offset by the white Torres Strait Pigeons feasting

Fire by the sea - a pandanus suffers

One defiant plant survives the burn

A bright yellow native tree as a street planting

and a bright orange vine on a fence adds some colour

Even pastels - pink and white frangipani

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