The prickly Heart of Art

My wild artist heart revels in the prickly world around me. It’s full of possibilities, rich experiences and is open to individual interpretation.

A botanist would say this seed pod is the fruit of a casuarina tree. A wildlife ecologist talks about certain mammal species that are dependent on this habitat. Ornithologists may speak of Calyptorhynchus banksii, the red-tailed black cockatoos that break open the hard pods with their powerful beaks and discard the chewed husks on the forest floor.

I say it is all of the above, dusted with fresh ochre, nurtured by decay and cradled by afterlife. I know these things as well as the ants that conspire against the rain by fortifying their mounds with turret-like sculptures. Or the migratory birds that herald spring with darting streaks on watercolour sky.

The casuarina seed

Photo copyright Jeni McMillan


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