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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in trees

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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  • maitrishah2
    maitrishah2 says #
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  • 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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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
An Ogham Preserving Shrine

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm starting to study the Ogham, and Yuri Leitch's book, "The Ogham Grove," is setting up a very nice system for me to spend approximately two weeks at a time getting to know one of the letters in this alphabet and the tree it's associated with, as well as other associations, during the time the sun is in that part of his Ogham Year Wheel. I find information online and in the Ogham books I'm starting to collect (like Erynn Rowan Laurie's "Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom"), as well as trying to find the tree in my local area so I can meet it in person. :)

b2ap3_thumbnail_Yuri-Leitch-Alder-Page.png

I'm also putting an image of the tree up as my computer wallpaper during those weeks, and putting its card from The Green Man Tree Oracle in a frame on my desk. I'm bathing in the essense of that tree and the energy of that Ogham few's associations, as it were.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the buds

At this time of year in my corner of the UK, the tree buds change in a noticeable way, and for me this is something to celebrate.

Trees form their leaf buds during the winter. The idea that trees sleep through the winter is a misconception perpetrated by the Pagan community, depending entirely on never looking that closely at trees. If you only ever see trees from a distance then yes, those apparently bare branches may look like nothing is going on, but this isn’t so! Trees make their leaves, and their catkins during the winter months. In January here, the catkins start opening. Somewhere around Imbolc, buds fatten discernibly.

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  • Judith Shaw
    Judith Shaw says #
    Wise words - "New leaves on trees can seem like an event – a sudden arrival of bright new greenness to mark the beginning of the g

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the catkins

The standard issue wheel of the year for the British isles has us celebrating the first flowers at Imbolc, when the snowdrops emerge. This is a bit awkward, because tree flowers – specifically catkins – emerge in January and open. They are also manifestly at odds with the standard issue notion that trees spend the winter sleeping. They don’t. Once the leaves are down, trees get busy making buds ready for the new year, and may also be making their catkins, which have been sat there hard and closed for some time now.

The thing about leaf buds and catkins is that they are small and you probably won’t see them if all you do is look at trees out of windows. Especially not if you are in motion and the windows are in a car. To spot buds and catkins, you have to be within a matter of feet of the trees and looking at them closely. When nature is an abstract concept that you celebrate from the safety of your living room, this is the kind of thing that gets overlooked.

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