‘Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees’
~ from the poem ‘Good Company’ by Karle Wilson Baker (1878-1960)
Forest: noun; a large area covered chiefly with trees and undergrowth. The Oxford Dictionary says the word morphed from the Latin foris, meaning ‘outside’, to the late Latin forestis (silva), meaning ‘(wood) outside’, to Old French and thence to Middle English.
Today just happens to be a day to celebrate the importance of all types of forests and woodlands and trees all around the globe, so here’s wishing you a very happy International Forests Day!
Although you might read in some corners of the internet that werifesteria is a word with its origins in Old English, this word will not be found in any dictionary. It seems it was invented in late 2014 and can now be found most commonly on social media, overlaying images of trees and forests.
Despite this, I like the word and the meaning that has been attached to it: ‘to wander longingly through the forest in search of mystery’. That’s my kind of verb!
Dawn is no longer a naked lady. As April progressed, she gradually acquired her vibrant new covering of leaves, though it has been a slow process, perhaps because we haven’t had much rain to help stimulate leaf production.
Considering her stature resembles that of a giantess, Dawn’s leaves are surprisingly fine, feathery and delicate, so her new attire is still coquettishly flimsy, seductively see-through.
It was lovely to see Dawn being enjoyed by the locals when I popped by on an unseasonably warm day late last week. Her leaf covering may not yet be lush but she was providing ample shade for a picnic lunch.
Why not join the tree following community. You can find out more here.
Yesterday I feel in love. His name is George, George Wood, and he lives near the charming little village of Dinas Powys, west of Cardiff.
He’s part ancient semi-natural woodland and part new native woodland, primarily dominated by oak and ash but also more recently planted with beeches.
Although these beeches are recent, they are now considered an essential part of George’s personality.
George is a bit smelly at the moment because of his preference for masses of wild garlic, but his stunning good looks more than make up for this passing phase.
Though it’s his beeches that made me fall in love with him, I’m sure I will also come to love his oaks and ashes just as much. I can’t wait to get to know George better!
According to the guide’s commentary during a recent heritage walk around Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff, this magnificent Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) was planted when the cemetery first opened in 1859 so it is now more than 156 years old. It is, however, a mere teenager when you consider these cedars can survive for more than 1000 years!
As the name implies, the Cedar of Lebanon (also known as the Atlas cedar and Deodar cedar) is native to Lebanon, the eastern Mediterranean coast and parts of Asia Minor, where it has long had a special significance to the local people. Its resin was used by the ancient Egyptians in their mummification process; the Phoenicians used its timber for building ships, palaces and temples; and its wood was burned by Jews to celebrate the New Year. Nowadays, the tree features as the national emblem of Lebanon, adorning both its flag and its coat of arms.
In Britain, the Cedar of Lebanon was popular as a feature tree in the plantings surrounding stately homes and mansions from the mid-18th century onwards, as well as in later Victorian parks and cemeteries, like Cathays.
I love trees! Not only are they beautiful to look at, trees provide food and shelter for humans and for wildlife; trees release oxygen and clean our air by absorbing greenhouse gases; trees help reduce flooding and water pollution, and stabilise ground at risk of erosion; trees are the source of many medicines; trees provide income for a huge number of the world’s people; and so much more.
Each year I like to set myself a photographic challenge and, in 2015, my project has been to photograph a tree (or trees) every day for the whole year. As my year of trees comes to a close, I have selected some of my favourite photographs to share. Simply click on this link to see them.
Spending so much time with trees this year has brought me enormous pleasure. The Japanese have a term for walking in the woods that I particularly like – it’s shinrin yoku, which literally means ‘forest bathing’. I think the world would be a much better place if we all bathed regularly in forests.