I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the massive bottle trees at Jandowae so when Nick spoke of a historical bottle tree at Anakie, I really wanted to see it!
At the beginning of WW1 local men seeking to enlist departed the area from Anakie station. Many carved their initials into a young bottle tree, which has grown to it's current size - so stretching the carvings upwards.
From Anakie we drove around 40km to the Willows gemfields. Vaughan had commented about these red flowers earlier in the day and there were so many growing on a hillside that I called for a stop - keen to photograph them in the lovely afternoon light.
I've since discovered there are five species of Mother-of-millions ornamental plants, originally from Madagascar.
They are restricted invasive plants described in the Biosecurity Act 2014 - and are poisonous to stock, at times causing significant cattle deaths.
We drove around the fossicking area, amazed by so many huge cactuses. I've googled them, too.
You guessed it - another declared pest! I've found an article where they are described as Willow cactus, which has caused me to wonder if that is how the area was named. I'm still researching that theory though.
We were based in Sapphire this trip, about 49km from the smaller Willows township. The quieter area really appealed though and we might stay there another time.