How many of us have gone for a drive or perhaps a walk and only just see what is there rather than seeing what could be?

Let me explain; if you are looking to take a photo we tend (or at least I do) look at things and situations differently. We take more time to notice the light, colours and the background. If it’s nearly lunch time while you are travelling we tend to look for pleasant shady spots to rest or maybe somewhere with a good view.

However, if one is a woodworker or a timber and / or plant enthusiast we see plants and trees in a different light. Rather than just seeing the raw tree we see what it could be. I think most trees are beautiful and deserve their place but timber is a product much like fruit, cork or any other of the myriad of products derived from plants.

Thankfully in our midst there are highly talented people (not me!) that can see a lump of timber and turn it into something quite extraordinary. Australian timbers are some of the most beautiful in the world (yes, and I’m biased) and deserve to be used where possible for all sorts of purposes. In the past Huon pine was used to build ships. Light weight, rot and insect proof with a magnificent fragrance the timber is highly sort after now for craft wood. The local native pine was put to good use by pioneers for its termite resistance. Our arid and semi rainfall zones support many slower growing tough and at times unusual timber plants. One of the wattles from the inland has purple timber and another from Western Australia smells of raspberry jam. I could go on and on but suffice to say if you are into beautiful objects, items skilfully made from Australian timbers must be on your to do list or go out and buy list.

One could actually plant some with the view to one day harvesting them to create something special like a soccer ball or perhaps a violin!

This article first published in the Riverland Weekly © December 8, 2011.