Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Tree

We are leaving Western Australia and hopping back to Sydney then onto BiLs in the Central Coast for Christmas. I say hopping but the flight from Perth to Sydney is nearly 4 hours, this country is enormous! Perth is nearer to Singapore than Melbourne! We're glad the cricket brought us to this side of the continent, it's a lovely place.

The Chrismas Tree, Nuytsia floribunda, is just coming into flower now. It is found mainly in the South West and is the largest member of the mistletoe family apparently. As such it is a semi-parasite, attaching its roots to other plants nearby and obtaining some, but not all, sustenance from them. The name Nuytsia comes from Pieter Nuyts, a senior officer travelling on a Dutch ship which was blown off course while sailing from Europe to the East Indies (Indonesia) in 1627. The ship sailed along the South Coast of WA but although no recorded landings were made, the area became known as Nuyt's Land. The common name Christmas Tree is used as flowering is at its peak around Christmas time in late December.

It is difficult to get my head around the fact that it is nearly Christmas. I think the only Carols I've heard were on the free bus, the CAT in Perth, the driver had some rather nice ones blasting out. There are decorations up but they are fairly low key. I am sure all this will change when we get to BiLs, which we have been warned will be festooned with lights. We are joining five great nephews and nieces who are at fever pitch about Christmas already, so no doubt some of it will rub off on us on the day! There will be 16 of us for Christmas Dinner.

So Cheers from Down Under! - Have a Very Happy Christmas

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