Day 23 Trek
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I always love the beds that's for sure. I went to bed early as I wanted to get enough sleep for the hike today. I hear there's several bridges to cross and there are supposed to be many rivers/creeks/streams to go over. I also hear there are a lot of flowers and wild life to spot as well. I'm glad that I was able to charge my camera last night.
We start off early in the morning as this part of the trail is a bit harder than other places. There are many times we have to walk single file. Especially over the bridges. The flowers are of all the different colors under the sun! It's just beautiful and I keep taking pictures of most of them. Soon I find some really large "nuts" on the ground and look up at the tree and see them up top as well. I find out that they are called "Honkey Nuts" by the locals but is also known as "Gum Nuts" as well. ‘Honkey nuts’ were made famous by May Gibbs' children’s story books about the ‘Gumnut Babies’.
"Honkey Nuts" are from the Corymbia calophylla tree or the Marri or Port Gregory Gum Tree. The tree is a relative to the Bloodwood trees found elsewhere in the world as well. The name Bloodwood comes from the Kino that leaks out when the tree is mechanically damaged from the outside. I'll get back to the Kino in a minute. The Bloodwood trees are also known for having very large flowers and fruit. In Australia there are two varieties of them. They are both Eucalypts and the way you tell them apart is from the nut. One has a very thick wall to the fruit and is known as the Woody-fruited Bloodwood (Corymbia) and the other has a very thin wall on the fruit and is known as the Paper-fruited Bloodwood (E. subg. Blakella). Corymbia terminalis, also known as the Desert Bloodwood is a tree native to the interior desert regions of Australia. It is known for it's red sap as well.
Now back to the Kino. Kino is the name given to the "Plant Gum" or a specific sap that the tree covers it's boo-boo's with. It is in many of the plants but this variety is specifically very RED. It is very well known in the Eucalypts and can be harvested like Maple Syrup is from the Maple tree by making cuts in the bark on the trunk and hanging a bucket to capture it. It looks like Red-Current Jelly when it comes out but hardens in about an hour when exposed to air and sun. So timing is crucial. Kinos typically dry to an amber-like material, it consists of dark red angular fragments, rarely larger than a pea. Of the small angular fragments, the smaller are reddish, and the larger are almost black; thin pieces are ruby red. It is brittle and easily powdered. It has no smell, but a very astringent taste. The Kino once it is hard is partially dissolvable in water. What remains is a pale flocculent (flaky) residue which is soluble in boiling water but deposited again upon cooling. Kino is not absorbed at all from the stomach and only very slowly from the intestine. The drug was frequently used in diarrhoea, its value being due to the relative insolubility of kinotannic acid, which enabled it to affect the lower part of the intestine.
Kino also has an extremely high kinotannin acid at about 70-80 percent. Because of the high Tannin content it is used in tanning of hides. It is also used in medicine and dyes. As they are usually soluble in water, kinos found use in traditional remedies. Eucalyptus kino is used by Australian aborigines in a tea for treating colds. Kino, from other parts of the world, was employed as a cotton dye, giving to the cotton the yellowish-brown color known as nankeen.
Okay so back to the trail. We see the Kino on several trees around and can see it for ourselves. I'm also able to see many different birds and snap pictures of them for later identification. It is cute to see them flitting about in the bushes of the undergrowth. We hike in single file most of the way, spreading out when we come to the open tracks that used to house the railroads for the mills. Then back to single file on the narrow paths and across the bridges over water. lol Okay bad attempt at a joke.
I was so intent on the hike I got in 1757 steps today and worked out in the garden for 20 minutes planting and watering and cleaning out the pond filter. So I've got in my exercise for the day. My right elbow is killing me as I did to much after my Dr shot me up and made me feel better. It is also raining and so my whole body has been cranky. So before the Oxy catches up with me I better stop typing and not making sense.