It’s National Tree Week… According to the UK Tree Council, at least… for some of us every week is tree week. It prompted me today to post onto Mastodon a photograph I took in Sweden several years ago, of a delightful stand of silver birch trees. From there it was a simple journey (in fact a cycling meditation!) to considering what other tree-dedicated photography I had nestled away on my image server. And from there the idea of posting the Celtic Tree Year.

The Ogham (or a number of other spellings and pronunciations) is both an ancient form of writing and a less ancient collection of associations with the native trees of Britain and Ireland. In ancient form, Ogham is one of the earliest of writings, sometimes found on old stone boundary markers. In the tree associated form, it collects a handful of native plants into a plausible method of meditation, divination and story. In either case, a search engine will assist you. This though is not about the topic but the tool… the trees themselves.

There’s a secondary use to this minor #project. A pause and a wander through old photographs – always a pleasure – but also a question. Have I photographed all the trees of the Celtic series? If not, perhaps I now will.

A delightful stand of Silver Birch, from my 2015 Sweden trip.

Birch is a pioneer tree, and aptly sits at the vanguard of the tree year. The Celtic year was said to begin and end at Samhain (or at least, some descriptions of the Celtic year so start… where indeed is the start of a circle? So, November has still a couple of days to run; what a good time to look at this arboreal cycle.

Late spring bluebells under the birches.
Birch colonisation of a mossy wall on Skye, from 2011
An impassible birchwood from 2009

I suspect this is going to be a work in progress, and I’ll set a Year of Tree category so that I can compile the whole year if and when it’s done. And add to each page as I find another opportunity.

One response to “Birch…”

  1. Stunning photos! I love the Birch. I have a small stand of three in the garden who seem to be thriving and two we inherited at the bottom of our orchard. Their dryads dance with such elegance when I play my whistle for them. Thank you for sharing these.

    Liked by 1 person

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