Big Bad Banksia Men on the run

Wattle Babies

Wattle Babies

The sound of my feet. The warm sun on my back. The feeling of bliss that only a holiday run can give – running on a Wednesday morning when I’m usually at work? There’s nothing quite so good.

As we run we weave our way through native gardens, big old ghost gums, scraggly wattles and the odd boab tree here and there.

Boab Tree

Boab Tree

A view of Perth from Kings Park, Western Australia

A view of Perth from Kings Park, Western Australia

We are running in beautiful Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, Perth, Western Australia.

Just as we round a corner there in front is a Banksia tree full of Big Bad Banksia Men. At least that’s what I think when I see the seed pods peering at me through their strange looking eyes; eyes that pop out of their hairy, prickly bodies.  Run faster Unsporty Woman, they are out to get you!   I’m immediately transported back to childhood at the scary sight of them!


Banksia tree full of seed pods….run!



My Mum had a copy of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs (1877 – 1969); I would get it off the book shelf and look at the wonderful illustrations. I loved all the bush babies, so sweet and cute. Each baby was inspired by an Australian native flower. Gum blossoms, Boronia, Wattle and so many uniquely beautiful Australian flowers were all transformed into sweet little babies with her artistically gifted pencil and brush. But the Banksias? They were the baddies, the villains, always trying to catch the poor little bush babies and be mean and nasty to them.

A gum blossom

A gum blossom

Gumnut Babies

Gumnut Babies

Bush Baby cross stitches - I've always loved these cute little characters

Bush Baby cross stitches – I’ve always loved these cute little characters. I stitched these when I was expecting Brown-eyed Daughter #1 (now the Bride-to-Be)

The Baby Books that record the first year of each of my children - May Gibbs inspired of course.

The Baby Books that record the first year of each of my children – May Gibbs inspired of course.  Inside a special book written by a beginner writer.

Kings Park was full of May Gibbs’ characters who were hiding within each blossom and seed pod. A beautiful run and a lovely trip of remembering the imaginative art of a talented Australian Illustrator and Author, May Gibbs.

Run like a Big Bad Banksia Man is chasing you?  I did on our run in Kings Park.  I’m pleased to say they didn’t catch me this time.  If you get the chance to visit Kings Park be sure to look out for the Bush Babies, but don’t let the Big Bad Banksia Men catch you!

Happy running 🙂


PS and just for something else wicked, my Brown-eyed Baby Girl took me to see Wicked as a belated Mother’s Day Treat while we were in WA – the show was amazing and we had the best time, thanks Bubby x

Third row from the front!  Big treat!

Third row from the front! Big treat!


14 thoughts on “Big Bad Banksia Men on the run

    • Thanks Shaz 🙂 Kings Park is so lovely, the views of the river and the city and all the bush land to run around is in a real treat. Banksia Men are nasty creatures, they did make me run faster.

  1. So interesting! Amazing flora and fauna, and so different from here. Annie, I posted today regarding my fundraiser for the New York City Marathon. Won’t you please share my story with your readers? Trying to reach as many people as possible. Thank you!

    • That’s in Western Australia – their winters are warm and mild compared to Tasmania. It was -6°C (21.°F) overnight a few nights while we were away and there is snow on the mountains. Makes me want to move to WA, but their summers are up in the 40s (104°F) and that’s just too hot! It was lovely to have a little warm break 🙂

  2. I LOVE snugglepot and cuddlepie & I always think of the bad banksia men when I see the seed pods too! Gave my nieces in London and Italy copies for Christmas!

  3. Having never heard of these things I am intrigued! The seed pods look massive! I don’t suppose one would want one to fall on the noggin while running or otherwise for that matter. 🙂
    My daughter and I saw Wicked on our recent trip to New York and loved it too!

    • They look bigger than they are I think… some are quite small but the largest ones would only be as big as a hand span. They don’t usually fall off, the seed pods burst open. They need intense heat to open and some only open if they are burnt. There are a lot of Australian plants that only regenerate with fire. It’s amazing how the fauna has adapted to our harsh environment 🙂 Australians are battlers! Glad you got to see Wicked – such a great show!

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