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El Saman: the tree that crossed the Sea.

Updated: Jan 21

A bunch of old giants about twenty five meters tall, and more than eighty years old, stand in front of me while sitting on a bench reading a book, in the park near my house. Their brown chocolate wood extends high up above the ground, covering the canopy with their elongated branches with leaves and pink flowers, extending along the skyline, bringing me shade while sieving the light that reaches the ground.

I sit in the park surrounded by these giants, my children fly in the air while sitting in some swings. The swings moves up and down, and down and up over and over again and every time they go up, the children extend their legs as if they were trying to reach the top of the rain tree in front of them with their feet.

The giants and I have something in common, not our size of course, nor our taxonomy or morphological features. The giants and I share our origins, both the rain tree and I originated on the same continent. A long time ago, many pods of El Saman tree, its common name in Venezuela, my homeland, made an epic voyage from South America, across the Sea on a boat that transported cattle to other regions. The pods of El Saman travelled to the Caribbean, across the Atlantic, into the Pacific reaching Asia, Papua New Guinea and all the way to Australia. Rain tree seeds also found their way to other tropical places to be planted as ornamental trees along the sides of roads to provide shade, including in Queensland. Now rain trees of the species Samanea saman like the one standing in front of me, are common part of the suburban landscape of Queensland towns, such as Townsville.

Today our post was in honoured of the amazing rain trees, that reminded me of home, and made it all the way from the Americas to Queensland, like I did. It is school holidays in Australia and we are staying home for several days enjoying our area around the house. There is a place we like to visit with a girls, the place is close to our house in Mundingburra, and can be accessed via Brown Hill street, among others.

We called it the rain tree forest park, but its offical name is Arthur Fadden Park. In this park there is plenty of shade as many giant rain trees stand across an area of about 3 hectares, with a play ground in the middle, a bench and a sand box. It doesn't really have much, it is a simple and modest park that I am sure you and your children will enjoy. Be aware of mosquitos, they love this park, so bring your insect repellent. There is no toilet facility nor garbage bin, so please take you rubbish with you and try not to use glass.

Enjoy time more outdoors time with children and if you like trees like me, you definitely need to meet the giants rain trees of Mundingburrra.

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OutdoorHobbits by P&F photography

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