Words From The Northwest Woods

After glorious weather for most of the week, now that the weekend has come the skies are overcast and we have had a little rain. Sods Law in full effect. By this evening I was feeling a little stir crazy and when it stopped raining I decided to get out for a short stroll up to Pointer Wood and Clark’s Lot. I think what led my steps in this particular direction was an intention to return to a Rowan that I photographed a few weeks ago when it was just coming into flower. Now the flowers are beginning to fade.


We have two Rowans in our garden – perhaps because they were traditionally planted near houses to ward off evil spirits. Our’s seem to have worked so far. Why I couldn’t just photograph one of them is a mystery to me.

Entwined around the Rowan, honeysuckle is almost in flower:

The Rowan stands in an area in the wood which has been mostly cleared of trees. Beside it is the gnarled decapitated trunk of a silver birch. I think that it’s true to say that Silver Birch are relatively short-lived trees. I tend to think of them as slender trees with papery white bark. But this is a sturdy stump, cracked and fissured, almost black, with only a few scales of silver remaining by which to identify it.

A hollow near the top of the trunk, curtained with cobwebs, is lined with the moss, feathers and grass of an abandoned nest.

The trunk hosts ivy and bracket fungus:

I’m sure that this tree would have a great deal to tell us if we only knew how to listen. If I were as clever as Cynthia at Words From the Northwest Woods I would invent a character and a story to accompany these pictures and observations.

Returning to the meadow I was struck by the profusion and variety of the flowers, including many more Early Purple Orchids, and these Bird’s-foot-trefoil, which I shall have to return to capture in better light:

This Hawthorn is taller then most. In the low light the abundant blossom seemed to glow:

I didn’t realise that I’d caught two will-o’-the-wisps in my picture until I got home, and since they passed the Rowan tree in the garden unharmed in the camera I assume that they are benign.

A cynic might say that I had raindrops on my lens, but then – we aren’t cynical are we?

Words From The Northwest Woods

6 thoughts on “Words From The Northwest Woods

  1. Well, BtB, I am so very honored at your tribute – thank you. I have loved writing the tales, but now seem to be taken with some odd little odyssey with an owl. Perhaps I should make that tale my next blog.

    Your pictures make me wish you and your family could journey across the pond and chronicle the world here. Let me know were you to ever be in a position to do so. We have a huge house, and a room devoted to the pleasures of childhood. Even not “really” knowing you all I have the strongest intuition you would all be welcome.

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    Cynthia – I’m bowled over by the generosity of your offer. What an exciting prospect. Thank you.
    I know that you have said that you haven’t been to the UK for fear that you might never want to leave, but if you ever change your mind our spare room is yours.
    My brother and his young family live in Zurich in Switzerland, and I have an Aunt and Uncle and several cousins in Germany. For the moment at least, when we can afford foreign holidays they are likely to be spent catching-up with family.
    I’m not sure that my sanity could survive a flight as far as Washington State with three small children anyway.
    BUT – we’ve only been to the states once (Florida for our Honeymoon) and I have high hopes of coming back some day, soooo…..if the invitation is an open one….

  3. Oh, BtB – thank you for your graciousness in return! After leaving that comment I headed off to the Y and immediately imagined your thinking that I was absolutely bonkers. I am very relieved that it appears you don’t. And you really would be welcome. Your blog has resurrected powerful memories for me – your pictures and your stories are so detailed and vivid and real. Virtual Reality can truly invoke the… um, other kind of Reality (I forget the term at the moment).

    Washington State is SO much more your kind of venue than Florida (although I imagine I wouldn’t think that if I lived there). So, yes, it’s open. It would be quite the adventure!

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