Watch 'Big Gums'
| Beau Miles
Bloody nor-wester, hot as heck, gusty and roaring from the centre of Australia. Hairs on my neck raise as I estimate, not for the first time, if the largest gum on my property (Eucalyptus Strzeleckii, declared vulnerable) would hit the house if it was to fall.
Standing on the deck as the wind unfolds I feel the large flat timbers beneath me move, alarmed because it means the house is getting blown about given the deck is tethered to the house, making it feel as if the whole world is moving. It’s all very impressive. I think "gee, that’d be a helluva adventure, spending time in the canopy of those trees during a storm, strapped to a branch to be ragdolled about". Four years later, based on that daft idea, I spent a night in the tree.
The big gum in Beau's backyard.
It’s nowhere near as windy when I finally gather up my old climbing kit and various bits of gear from the barn. I’m a dad now, so I choose a fair-weather day and the least perished rope. Up I go using more ladders than I thought I owned, in boots at first, which was a poor choice of shoe.
This is the story of a man, which is really a story of a unique gumtree, colluding on a backyard adventure...
Planning the approach.
A platform from which to peer out... while staying in.