foraging in the eucalyptus forest


not far from here, above the visigoth basilica of Santa Lucia (built around 700AD) , there is dehesa and scrub forest and a small forest of eucalypts. I have no idea what species they are, but they have red stems on the young growth, and a definite red tinge to the leaves.


the soil is red too, as are the rocks, some sort of iron-stained sandstone,


and so are the puddles. it was quite hot, and Tilda had to paddle a lot to keep cool.



I picked fallen leaves and bark, but also twigs and leaves from trees I passed ..


there might have been two types; some didn’t seem to have the red tinge – but this one definitely does.


long shapely leaves


they are tall and graceful, quite lovely in fact


but they do terrible things to the water table, and are a fire risk in this region of hot dry summers.


anyway, I got back hot and tired with a big bagful and two dried fallen branches, plus some gum cistus to try. this makes the whole place smell of incense, and is worth a try, I reckon. so more sampling ….


seven little bundles, and the dyebath is leaves and bark of the eucalyptus that grows near here, not the visigoth forest, with the usual pieces of iron scrap.





  1. This looks very dramatic. I take it you are staying at your house in Spain? We went for a walk in a Eucalyptus wood in April at a place north of San Francisco in the coast called Pacifica. No red soil though it was very lovely and steep terrain. We just returned from a trip to New Mexico. Dramatic landscape indeed and lots of red rock. Went to Ghost Ranch, part of which was home to Georgia O Keefe towards the end of her life. We fly home 3 weeks on Monday looking forward to it. Why are the edges of the photographs wonky?

  2. What an amazing place, I wonder what pigments cause everything to be so red. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to capture that colour!

  3. hah, Eleanor, the wonders of hipstamatic!
    the red is caused by red iron oxide in the rock – it was probably desert sand once …. and may soon be again

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