After writing my Monday Musings on World Poetry Day this week, I was surprised to discover that today, Wednesday 23rd March, is National Eucalypt Day. I had no idea we had such a day, which is probably not surprising as this is only its 3rd year. It is an initiative of the Bjarn K Dahl Trust and its aim is “to further raise awareness of eucalypts and celebrate the important place that they hold in the hearts and lives of Australians”. I love that, of course.
The Bjarn K Dahl Trust is a philanthropic fund, that, according to their website, was “established from a bequest by Bjarn Dahl, a Norwegian Forester, who developed a true affinity with the Australian bush, and a particular love for the Silvertop Ash, Eucalyptus sieberi, and left his entire estate to establish the Trust”. Wow, eh? (The date of 23rd March was chosen for National Eucalypt Day because it was Dahl’s birthday. I wonder if he’s related to Roald Dahl?)
My quick Google search suggests that the day is taking off somewhat faster than poor old World Poetry Day – well, I found three events anyhow. Here in Canberra, the Australian National Botanic Gardens are celebrating Eucalypt Week, but today, THE day, they presented a talk titled “As Australian as a gum tree : An historical look at eucalypts in Australian culture”. (Unfortunately I was otherwise engaged, or I would have been there). The Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria offered a Walk with an expert eucalypt botanist. Back in Canberra again, I discovered that, for some reason, the National Arboretum celebrated National Eucalypt Day on 18th March, with “a variety of short walks”. Better early than never, I suppose!
I have written about gum trees (our popular name for eucalypts) several times on this blog, so am not going regale you with more right now. Instead, I’m going to share a photo I took today in a carpark in Canberra’s NewActon Precinct. Peeping above the wall are, yes, eucalypts.
Not the best photo – the light wasn’t great – but the conjunction of library-love and eucalypts was too good to resist.
Happy National Eucalypt Day everyone (and especially to the Resident Judge of Port Phillip whom I was meeting for drinks right after taking this photo! It’s been years since we caught up – and it was lovely).