Sunday, 24 August 2014

A lack of shade from the miracle leaf

Beach almonds (Terminalia cattapa) overhanging Trinity Beach
After breakfast at Fratelli's this morning, I grabbed a takeaway coffee and crashed on the beach for a bit. I leant back against a beach almond (Terminalia cattapa) and read a book. I noticed that the beach almond I was leaning against was starting its new spring growth, with many small green leaves. I could only see two red leaves yet to drop. The tree just to my right had a great many more red leaves yet to drop, and only a few new leaves appearing. A great many dead leaves littered the sand under the two trees.

Beach almond leaves are used by aquarium owners in tanks holding soft water fish - discus for example - to soften the water, add tannins, and reduce fungal growth. They sell, sometimes labelled "Miracle Leaf" for about 50 cents a leaf. How much is the patch of sand at the right of this photo worth? They're of little use in my tanks, which are hard or neutral water, but I sometimes wonder if I should be collecting them and selling them on Ebay.

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