Sunday, 18 January 2015

When nature fights back

The heat and humidity is high and so is the grass.

Taking full advantage of the Queensland summer, the backyard has gone feral.

With each passing day the trees, bushes and weeds visibly climb.

So too does the risk that we'll lose some unsuspecting passerby in the urban jungle.  Perhaps we already have?  We'll only know when the mower man comes and carves a temporary path through the greenery.

Nature's fighting back.

While we might put concrete over it, crank up the air conditioning, and try to choke it, nature always has the last laugh.

It's always been this way.

Centuries ago in Cambodia, kings and kingdoms once thought they'd tamed the jungle too.

The temple Ta Prohm, featured in the Tomb Raider movie staring Angelina Jolie, shows that while nature might move slowly, it will win in the end.

There are scores of temples across Cambodia's famous Angkor region.  Workers tireless keep nature at bay every day by cutting back the trees, grass and weeds.

But at Ta Prohm, archeologists decided to leave it in the condition they found it.   They noted that the temple was one of the most imposing in the region and had begun to merge with the jungle.

It seems they too were meserised by the tangle of trees and roots, and how nature, slowly but surely, had taken control of the temple.

Vines strangle the temple's walls and trees sprout out of its collapsed roofs, while roots prise apart each brick.

In its heyday, Ta Prohm, dating back to the 12th Century, was a hive of activity, serving as a monastery and university.  Ornate bas reliefs on the temple walls and doors tell its story.

In recent decades, the temple has regained a legion of followers (with a bit of help from Angelina).

On the hot and humid day I visit Ta Prohm, we're joined by a group of Buddhist nuns who've also come witness the spectacle.

But even as hordes of tourists (including me) trample over the site, we all know that nature still reigns supreme here.

No comments:

Post a Comment