I woke the other morning to an awareness that I’d been dreaming of taking photos all night long (or maybe it just seemed like it had been hours and hours). I tend to save my sessions with the camera for the weekend, but because my brain was filled with what felt like actual memories of recently having had a camera in my hand, and the accompanying sensation of roaming, not to mention the incessant squinting into the viewfinder – honestly, it felt so real – I knew I had to squeeze in a session before I got to the office that morning.
I decided I would walk to work via the Royal Botanic Garden. I soon I found myself looking at this magnificent specimen of Dracaena draco, the Dragon’s Blood Tree from the Canary Islands.
I’ve been through the Garden many times, so surely I’d seen this tree before… But on this particular morning, I was transfixed by it. I stood there for a long time wishing someone would walk by so that I could photograph the tree with a human in the frame, all the while marvelling at its tight network of branches, each end topped by a spiky ‘star’ of leaves. The tree’s shape reminds me of an umbrella blown inside out in a stiff breeze.
There’s a plaque affixed to the trunk which tells me that it was planted in the early 1860s and that it “was the first specimen of this species planted in the Gardens… and is probably the oldest plant of its kind in Australia.”
I’m going to have to go back with a tripod so that I can stand under the D. draco myself.