Ecology Quest 2 – Bauhinia and what’s in a place name ?

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Bauhinia Purpurea – June Perkins

I am in the midst of a first draft of a ‘nature essay.’  The journey of this essay includes being fascinated by the plants in the streets around me.  There are at least four varieties of Bauhinia.

This plant originates in India.  The one above is the Bauhinia  Purpurea, also known as geranium tree.  The tree flowers in September and in December it changes appearance and long greenish pods appear.

The other research for the essay has been finding the cultural and social layers in the land around me.

One interesting thing is that many of the places around me have names based on Aboriginal words,  and have meanings like ‘Place of Stones’, ‘Gully of Water’, ‘Water Dragon.’   I am incorporating this into my essay.

Gwen Harwood, a poet and librettist was born here in Taringa.  She guest lectured at University Tasmania when I was first at university.  She wrote poems with motherhood, and music embedded in them and often adopted alter egos.

Here I am raised in Tasmania (born in PNG), now living in her early home, writing of motherhood, music and the tapestry of plants and birds.

Unfolding these layers is giving me new thoughts for poems and stories.  There is a richness in unpacking the meanings in the space around me.

(c) June Perkins

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