These are the last pictures I will post of the old jacaranda in my front yard. Sadly it is past saving and will be removed next Thursday. It has stood proudly for over 50 years, I’m not exactly sure when it was planted, but know it is at least 50 years old. Birds have nested in its branches, cockatoos have sharpened their beaks on bits of its dead wood and children have played beneath its branches. Those children are now adults, some with their own children.
Rod’s grandmother’s ashes are buried beneath it, as she planted it and loved it, and even painted a face on it which has remained visible (although now very faded) ever since. I have lived here for 23 years and it was bright and distinct when I first came here. I used to look at it and imagine the tree was alive and was watching everything and it made me feel safe.
In the spring it was covered with a mass of beautiful purple flowers (people here use the word ‘jacaranda’ to define a colour which is a subtle mix of blue and lilac), and when they fell the ground would be a carpet of purple. Sometimes our cars would look like they had a strange but beautiful jacket on.
Now the cockatoos rip big pieces of dead wood with their beaks, and when the wind blows strongly big chunks of branch, some hollowed out by grubs, plummet to the ground, occasionally threatening passersby.
So, farewell old friend. I have kept a seed and hope to plant your progeny to replace you. Gilbert learnt to climb on your old trunk and once had to be rescued with a ladder! I will miss you but generations will remember you with affection. Even my neighbour commented today on your beautiful flowers (very scarce now) and said she would miss them.