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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in trees

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Know your forests and woodlands

Forests & Woodlands

What is the difference between a forest and a woodland?  In this case it seems that size really does matter…

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the willows

Osier willows really come into their own during the winter. Their finer branches are a striking orangey red colour, and once the leaves are down, these are especially visible. In a grey, wintery landscape where most of the colours are washed out, osiers willows stand out, wild and flaming. They are all the more glorious because what’s around them lacks for colour.

When the leaves are down, many trees are harder to identify, especially for the tree novice. Osier willows are easier to identify at this time of year. Willows are generally tricky to tell apart from each other. According to The Woodland Trust there are some 60 hybrids of osier willow grown in the UK alone. There are many different kinds of willow, and many hybrids as well. They take some getting to know. Willows favour damp places, and have a very long history of use in human crafts and constructions.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Signs of Spring

It’s December, and here in the UK that means grey skies, dampness, cold conditions, bare branches... it would seem like madness to be talking about signs of spring.

Except that I can see them.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    Very well put, Nimue...thank you for so beautifully sharing a technically obvious but very frequently overlooked and unconsidered

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
For the love of leaf snow

For perfect leaf snow, you need to be in a wood on a bright autumnal day with little wind. It’s magical to stand under the trees as the leaves fall softly around you, very much like large snowflakes. Different leaves interact with the air in different ways, so if you’re in mixed woodland you can see the differences in how leaves fall. It’s enchanting; a colourful, magical leaf snow that patters softly to the ground.

Like so many encounters with nature – seasonal and otherwise, much depends on being in the right place at the right time. You’ve got to have trees, and deciduous trees at that. You’ve got to be in amongst them – it doesn’t work to try and watch this from a distance. It may be pretty if you can see it, but it won’t be the same as being in the leaf snow.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Deborah Quartz
    Deborah Quartz says #
    Leaf snow is the one event that actually happens here in Florida, we have some lovely Oak and Sycamore trees and in the fall the s
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    So true, and so relevant for this time! Much of what you said echoes the Samhain/New Moon messages I received from Water & shared

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
A carpet of leaves

For anyone who sees trees as part of their spiritual landscape, it’s important to think about trees specifically and not generically. It can be tempting to approach any aspect of nature as an archetype or an idea, but that means we can end up engaging with our ideas about nature, and not what’s really going on around us.

The process of deciduous trees losing their leaves is a slow one if you track it carefully, and this year I am tracking it carefully. I observed the first significant changes of colour in leaves a couple of weeks ago. Clearly different species of trees turn and shed at a different rate while the weather conditions and temperature affects how long leaves stay on trees. From what I recall of previous years, I think it likely that oak will be the last to go, while horse chestnut turned first and ash followed.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Birch: The Tree of Midsummer

 

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In Praise of Catalpas

The catalpas are in bloom: thank Goddess.

Catalpa speciosa, the northern Catalpa. They're huge trees, catalpas: often the tallest on any given block. Heart-shaped leaves, bigger than your out-stretched hand, and those flowers: creamy with spotted tongues, like little orchids, really, if you can imagine tens of thousands of orchids all in one place. (Thus does superabundance render even the greatest beauty banal.) The city's catalpas are towering pyramids of white right now, that you can smell a block away: that sweet, spicy, nutmeg-y smell of Midsummer.

They're weedy kinds of trees, actually. Soft wood, not good for much of anything. They're also "dirty" trees: first the fallen flowers, which coat the sidewalks with slime, then the long, carob-like seedpods that litter the lawn by the thousands and (I swear) tens of thousands.

Oh, but they're in their glory now, and that means Midsummer can't be far away.

I grew up calling them (PI alert) "Indian tobies." Oddly enough (it took me a while to figure it out), "tobie" is short for "tobacco." Here's why. 

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