Friday, April 8, 2011

Gathering Nuts in .... April?



Hello Dhaaarlings...



{Photo Via Princess 2011}

There I was... giggling among the bushes Dhaarlings...

 Hunting down "Gumnut Babies"...

on my recent Adventure to the  Royal Botanical Gardens

{Photo Via Princess 2011}

Gumnut Babies are so called due to the flowers and in particular the juvenile nuts (Gum Nuts) produced by our flowering Eucalyptus trees.
Gumnuts were the inspiration for the creation of characters from a well known and popular children's book... Namely Snugglepot and Cuddlepie







{Photo Via Princess 2011}


So there I was again giggling and snapping away in the bush
Seriously hoping to meet some bush babies..


{Photo Via Princess 2011}


 when suddenly I was rudely confronted by this...







It literally gave me the willies...

I had stumbled across a real live Banksia Man...


 inspiration for the devilish "Banksia Men". Characters from one of Australia's best loved Children's Authors


Who made their first appearance in this book...




The "Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie"

A favourite from my childhood...

Here's is a bit more about them....


"Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the gumnut babies, are the protagonists of the story and are modelled on the appearance of young Eucalyptus (gum tree) nuts. The female gumnut babies, however, have their hair, hats and skirts modelled on Eucalyptus flowers.
May Gibbs based some of the characters and scenery on the plants found in the bushland of Bunbury, Western Australia, where she played as a child.[1] The "big bad" Banksia Men are the villains of the story and are modelled on the appearance of aged Banksia "cones", with follicles for eyes and other facial features."




In May's own words...


"We came to a grove of Banksia trees and sitting on almost every branch were these ugly little, wicked little men that I discovered and that's how the Banksia Men were thought of."
May Gibbs



{via Princess 2011}





Commoners refer to the flowers as "candlesticks"

Yet... "May"... depicted them as conniving horrible and hairy creatures like these...









Oh... Sorry... I meant like this...




Always plotting to do dastardly deeds and steal the cute little
Baby Gumnuts and






 other baby bushflowers





And here are some Banksia Cones in real life...




The seed pods will open following a bush fire, I think it has something to do with the effect of the smoke in stimulating the pod to crack open and release the seed... leaving the cone with bits that could be easily interpreted as eye sockets or mouths....

When on holiday with my cousins as kids we would find the dead cones at the beach and pretend that they were wicked Banksia men. Then we would play a game where we would madly run about chasing each other, cone held out in front of an outstretched arm.

The loser would be the first one to have a Banksia Cone stuck down the back of his bathers. Of  course I would always be one of the losers...


I discovered on my recent adventure that there are even several prostrate forms of Banksia...

which...

 I think are quite delightful despite their cultural history of inducing nightmares into the dreams of small children all over the country...


{Photo Via Princess 2011}






It was a lovely Adventure....

5 comments:

  1. Banksia Man looks like Beast!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always love these trips through the garden!

    Oh Hai MJ!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful story & great pics!
    Love all your odd flora down there....

    Hai Mj, Hai xl

    ReplyDelete
  4. Blimey.
    I'm sure Banksia men have many uses.
    Sx

    *sniggers at MJ's comment*

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a charming little story and history, I assume May was a crack addict.

    ReplyDelete