24 Sep 2020 FILM DIARY
Revisiting the December 2015 night footage of the shiny leaf stinging tree, having captured images of it with Steve the night before last, resolved me to film it in daylight, which I did this morning. The last time I filmed anything was in January this year. I was able to get a shot of the menacing stinging hairs which cover the surface of the leaf. The tree can attain a height of 20 metres, but now, as then, the only specimens I saw were more shrub than tree. The leaves are far smaller than those of the giant stinging tree, which are almost as broad as they are long. These trees had grown considerably in the five years since I filmed one. Also, their leaves had been almost ‘eaten to the bone’ by various insects, and because they were further from the ground, I don’t think I was able to get a definitive shot of the leaves’ stinging hairs, which cause excruciating pain when brushed against skin. The pain can persist for days, weeks, even months, which is not the case with the shiny leaf stinging tree, though contact is best avoided. Mature giant stinging trees can be 35 metres high.