River red gum, Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges, Australia. River red gums may live a millennium advancing fast in favourable conditions and protectively shutting down in hard times. Their lifecycle is highly complex, and every stage provides sustenance and refuge to birds, mammals and reptiles. After 120 to 180 years useful hollows start to develop, accommodating many. I have been visiting this tree since 2003, an eye blink for the tree but in that time, I have seen it struggle against long droughts and savage flash flooding losing huge limbs to the latter. The tree magnificently persists.