Blue Mountains, Australia Poster
Innovation: Blue Mountains, Australia Art Print
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The beauty, the variety, and the potential wealth of Australia were learnt slowly and in the hard way.
We can see the fugitive beauty of the gum-tree pencilled against the sky; our educated eyes can find a thousand nuances of colour in the bush; we can appreciate the native blooms and not even find them strange, flower cyphers, mechanic, functional, barbaric. Look if you have the opportunity at Margaret Preston's pictures of flowers and you will see what I mean. We have come to marvel at the fauna, species long extinct in other parts of the world, missing links like the platypus which is at once bird, mammal and fish. And with it all we can have the rose, the lily, the sparrow and the horse. We have grown to love the sunburnt brownness of our plains, the grape-blue mountains, the aromatic bush. . . . There is variety enough from the karri forests of south-west Western Australia to the rippled hills of glittering mica, the moving sand, red or gamboge, the gibber deserts of the Centre, to the cattle stations, the sugar-cane and the coral reefs of Queensland; from the classical landscape of the Riverina to the crocodile-infested rivers of the Northern Territory. The oldest earth above sea level is to be found in Australia. In the nor'-west there is a soil called laterite which is beyond all fertility, but there are also deserts that, given water, will flourish spontaneously with grass and flowers and succulents or, in the irrigation areas, with the fruits of the Northern Hemisphere. (Geologists have classified over 1,000,000 square miles as desert and have labelled onethird of Australia as unusable.) There is more snow country in Australia than in the British Isles. There are rain-forests and patches of tropical vegetation to be found, alternating with indigenous scrub, all down the east coast of the continent. The seeds of tropical plants and ferns, it is said, are carried by migrating birds. The result can be like a split personality. There is every sort of climate, from Tasmania where snow can fall on Christmas Day to the heavy wet heat of the Gulf of Carpentaria.