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"Take red. Much of the continent is red: red rocks, red soil, red dust, the Red Centre. But long before you reach the dry inland, or the Kimberley, there is red in the forests and woodlands. It is the inside colour of the bush. The ‘gum’ of gum trees is generally red. The coppery-red gimlets (Eucalyptus salubris) of Western Australia and many other species ooze red gum as if from stigmata. Sometimes when you split stringybark it pours out like blood from a severed artery. It was for this gum that the first Europeans to see them call them gum trees."

DON, WATSON - The Bush

"Decried every day as a feckless thing without initiative or ambition, a thing not to be mentioned in the same breath as private enterprise, government became that thing. First sequester its responsibilities, sell off its functions, grant it no respect; run it into the ground and then declare it incompetent."

DON, WATSON - American Journeys

"For Hindus, banyan trees are sacred. For Buddhists, bodhi trees; for the Arabs, certain date palms. To be stalwart in a ‘tree-like’ way was to approach goodness, according to Confucius. The Normans built chapels in the trunks of yew trees. Many other cultures attached religious significance to particular trees and groves and forests. Adonis was born of a tree. Daphne turned into one. George Washington confessed to cutting one down and the United States, as a result, was all but immaculately conceived. "

DON, WATSON - The Bush

"The tree is the symbol of the male organ and of the female body. The Hebrew kabbalah depicts Creation in the form of a tree. In Genesis, a tree holds the key to immortal life, and it is to the branches and fruit of an olive tree that God’s people are likened in both the Old and New Testaments. To celebrate the birth of Christ his followers place trees in their sitting rooms and palm fronds, a symbol of victory, commemorate his entering Jerusalem. A child noted by Freud had fantasies of wounding a tree that represented his mother. The immortal swagman of Australia sat beneath a coolabah tree. In hundreds of Australian towns the war dead are honoured by avenues of trees."

DON, WATSON - The Bush