A tree in your bonnet

by zoe | 18.03.2014 | water , mangroves , forest , floating forest , sydney , ship | 0 comments | Rating: 3 votes

floating forest

floating forest

floating forest

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An abandoned ship close to Sydney has turned into a floating forest with mangroves onboard...

When we were 17, my friend ’s mum bought a car for her to learn to drive in. It was an old rust-bucket – the doors were hanging on for dear life and there was a hole in the floor of the passenger seat area. We weren’t quite sure how old it was, but the fact that the gearstick didn’t have a fifth gear gave an indication.

The car was a demonstration of the resilience of technology and an admonishment of our throwaway culture. Despite the fact that it still fulfilled a car’s primary purpose, of getting someone from A to B, it was unlikely that many of the same model were still on the road.

But with time, it came to demonstrate not only the resilience of technology, but also the resilience of nature. You see, my friend used to park the car under the trees in her driveway… and it wasn’t long before an oak tree sprouted in the bonnet. 

A more dramatic example of this phenomenon can be found at Homebush Bay, site of the 2000 Sydney Olympic games.  Formerly a ship-breaking yard where boats were dismantled to salvage useful parts and sell for scrap,  it still has four ships floating in the water. Most impressive of these has to be the SS Ayrfield, a 1,140 ton transport ship built in 1911.

In 1972, the SS Ayrfield was transferred to Homebush Bay to be dismantled, but shortly afterwards, work at the yard ceased and its hull was left floating in the water. Over the years since, it has been transformed into an astonishing floating forest, with mangroves and other vegetation growing in the ship itself, and now attracting far more photographers than my friend’s beaten up old volvo and its solitary oak tree…

Image Rights: Some rights reserved by Hase don

Written by zoe

I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree - Joyce Kilmer (1913)

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