This week’s challenge is about danger – I’m finding there’s a danger that the week will slip past on a banana peel of busy-ness, and I won’t have thought of what to post before the next challenge gets to my mailbox. However, Michelle’s story of disappointingly small, not-very-dangerous looking seed pods reminded me of this street tree in Mt Hawthorn, Perth, which I used to walk past every day when my grand daughter Juniper was a new baby. I never saw one of the cones, and wasn’t sorry, since I was aware of their fearsome and deserved reputation. My husband and son once camped where the Bunya Pine is endemic, and got to hear the sickening thud of a cone hitting the ground from a great height.
Last summer, we stopped for a break at a park in Central Victoria – and found a Bunya pine cone on the ground. Green and full of sap, it was heavy enough to do serious damage, and covered in sharp spines, just in case. The “leaves” are also well armoured, but that didn’t stop a cockatoo from chopping it off. It is now dry, much lighter and smaller, but I still wouldn’t like one to hit me…Why municipalities decided to plant them as street trees, or even in public parks, is a mystery to me, although I guess it was back in the days when playground equipment carried the added excitement of real and present danger to life and limb, and litigiousness was unheard of.