Good morning class, today’s lesson is Bush Culture and History with Karla the Park Ranger at El Questro Wilderness Park.
Quiet at the back Perkins! First off, we’re starting with the most distinctive tree of the Kimberley, the Boab. These fellas can live up to anywhere between 4-7,000 years, and if you take one of their seeds and crack it open, you can eat the white fleshy stuff inside. The pith in the fruit tastes similar to dried apple.
But you see the flowers on that tree Perkins? Well don’t eat that. Don’t even TOUCH that! That my lad is what’s known as Caustic Grevillia. One touch and it’ll burn your skin and leave you permanently scarred. Now you don’t want that, do you Perkins?
Ahhhh and here we have the Native Kapok and Rosella flowers. They both have edible petals with the latter said to reduce blood pressure if you mash it up and make it into a strong tea.
OK Perkins, have a look at this
What Sir? THAT Sir?
Yes, that’s right Perkins. Take a closer look at that branch over there and you’ll see lots of ants with green bottoms running along it. Pick one up between thumb and forefinger and put it in your mouth. These green ants are commonly called Electric Ants because of the zingy flavour they have. Eating one is the same kind of sensation as licking the end of a battery, or putting your tongue on a scalextric track, but I wouldn’t recommend either of those of course Perkins!
Wow thank you Sir, when I grow up I’d like to be a park ranger at El Questro! There’s so much to learn and explore about the fascinating bush survival techniques, but I’ve just got one more question Sir…….where are the toilets?
Come now Perkins, any tree’s a ‘lavva-tree’!