While staying in Swifts Creek NSW with friends of my Australian hosts, I loved being out alone in the dappled gum tree groves listening to birds and insects and basking in the unique brightness.
There is something about the quality of defuse sunlight penetrating these woods; there were few if any dark shady places, unlike the hardwood deciduous forests of Europe with more uniform broad green leaves, dark trunks and dense crowns.
I suspect this has much to do with leaves of gum trees, slender to allowing the light to penetrate (and not burn in the sun), coloured and toned with such various subtlety so as to reflect light and bounce it all around. Canopies are high and there’s little undergrowth.
I collected a handful of leaves from the floor of this gum tree woodland and was amazed at the multi-coloured variety of subtle shades. This collective potpourri of multi-coloured shades gives the woodland its brightness.
If I could have jumped up and snatched a handful of the bright blue sky and added it to the multi-coloured leaves, it would truly represent the ‘colour of Australia’ for me.