Out and about this a.m. -- wading the shallows through the northern wetlands -- the sea water at my feet was in places a reddish brown -- something akin to the colour of brewed tea (pictured above).
Tea? Maybe this is why Malaleuca trees are so often called 'tea tree' ( as in 'tea tree oil').
Malaleuca swamp wetlands are a standard along the coast of South East Queensland and the species rules the flora of Moreton Bay -- holding the islands in place through their root systems.Tannin staining by the Malaleucas will turn water courses and swamps a dark tea colour and the staining will drift away from shore and colour the bay.
After I was out and about this morning in Beachmere I went over to Bribie Island and along the surf beach at Woorim there is a very clear example of how much colour can be produced by the Malaleucas.
A watercourse rushing out to the beach (pictured above left) was so coloured that it was a rich burgundy. I thought that if there was a mythical land of milk and honey, here one produced wine.
The water was so dark you could not see much below the surface and wading in it was like soaking your tootsies in a Pinot Noir.
Why the staining should be so pronounced now may have a little to do with recent rains and the seasons....