From Little Acorns

I often take photographs of what I refer to as ‘My Oak Tree’.  Of course the old oak tree isn’t mine, it is part of nature.  The tree isn’t even in my garden; it is in the garden beyond the bridle path that runs behind my house.  I am very fond of the tree and it provides beauty and interest throughout each of the seasons of the year.  It is now so large that its branches completely span the bridle path and reach into the back corner of my garden.

A recent comment on my blog mentioned that it was a shame about the ivy growing on the trunk because it would kill the tree.  I used to think that too but, since I first thought that several years ago, the tree has grown around 10 feet (3.048 meters) and I noticed many trees in Shropshire sharing their space with ivy so I have dismissed the idea.

After the recent blog comment I decided to check the facts. I found that ivy is not a parasite and it does not kill the tree. The aerial roots are not penetrative and the ivy’s roots are firmly in the ground beneath the tree.  The relationship between tree and ivy is symbiotic.  The ivy attracts wildlife so the oak tree is always full of life. Visitors to my tree include blue tits, great tits, coal tits, wrens, sparrows, blackbirds, pigeons, insects and, on one memorable occasion, a poplar hawk-moth descended and settled on me just above my waist.  This was quite alarming because poplar hawk-moths are quite large (wingspan 65-90 mm).  Luckily it didn’t flap around like moths normally do; it just glided in and came to rest gently.  It was coaxed off me and went to settle inside the kitchen for a short time before going back to its natural habitat outside.

I have both memories and photos of beautiful sunsets through the branches of the tree and of sitting in the garden watching the sun go down.  Of hearing the leaves rustle in the wind watching the seasons go by.  Of the rebirth of the leaves and buds in spring, the green of summer, the autumnal hues followed by the winter view.  The weather in autumn determines how quickly the dead leaves fall from the tree; in some years the winter view is bare branches or, in others, there is a golden glow throughout winter due to the leaves not falling from the branches.

I have always had a fondness for trees because of many childhood walks where my dad encouraged me to identify different trees by their bark and leaves. I have got a bit rusty on tree identification since then but I still enjoy woodland walks and immersing myself in the beauty of magnificent trees and the wildlife they attract.

1 thought on “From Little Acorns

  1. Cherry, this really is a magnificent tree and you are so lucky to have it in your life every day. I would cherish being able to watch it thru the seasons and I’m thrilled that you shared all these beautiful images. I’ve always had a deep love and respect for trees, too.
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

    What a rich and wonderful history with Mother Nature, Cherry. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your image, showing all 4 seasons. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE your title. I am particularly partial to oak, as was my dad. It’s such a rich-looking grain in furniture…strong and mighty. And all from that little acorn!
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinnie

    “Magnificent” is the word I was going to use, too. I love trees and love the way you’ve embraced this one as “yours” even if it isn’t, technically. It’s a spiritual belonging!
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterseabluelee

    the minute the trees became visible on the post, i thought of this beloved poem:

    Tree at my Window

    by Robert Frost

    Tree at my window, window tree,
    My sash is lowered when night comes on;
    But let there never be curtain drawn
    Between you and me.

    Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
    And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
    Not all your light tongues talking aloud
    Could be profound.

    But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
    And if you have seen me when I slept,
    You have seen me when I was taken and swept
    And all but lost.

    That day she put our heads together,
    Fate had her imagination about her,
    Your head so much concerned with outer,
    Mine with inner, weather.
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhoney

    Cherry, what a fabulous collage! I so want to learn how to do that one day! And to think it all starts with that little acorn. Enjoyed your post very much!
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGotham Girl aka Robin

    I love how you show the tree through all the seasons. There is always something new to notice in the bark and outline of the trees I see on my walks. I think of the old trees as guardians of their small part of the world. Thanks for sharing your tree, Cherry, and thank you Honey for the Robert Frost poem, which has been added to my favorite poems collection.
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaery Rose

    What a wonderful start into my Sunday to see your beautiful oak photos and read your lovely post. I love trees, and I have often dreamed about a big tree in front of my house – there’s something comforting in a tree. It’s not only to see it, but to listen to the wind rustling the leaves, the birds settling in there. Bliss.
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarola

    What a wonderful collage you have of the 4 seasons. Thank you so much for the education. I always believed it to be true, that the ivy would kill the tree.
    Seeing it with your eyes, the tree is alive, greeting you every time you pass it. I love it that the big tree is now a shelter home for animals.
    The B&W picture almost looks like lace.
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

    It’s so great to have a subject to go back to again and again 🙂 I totally relate to the ownership, all of the things in nature that I shoot more than once become MINE. I love the large bare shot, the upper right corner looks like a round world of branches ~ beautiful.
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchristine

    Majestic and mighty the little acorn grows. I love your tree and how its profile changes with each season.
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLife in Color, Aka Susan

    Yes, I have always thought that ivy would kill a tree too. Glad to know it’s not so! Lovely to see your tree through it’s stages. They are stalwart friends.
    April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

    Trees – I like to think and believe – hold stories. In their grounded rootedness – they see and hear generations passing. They’ve weathered all seasons. They are the wisest of nature’s gifts. And – you’ve written so beautifully about your oak tree. Wonderful post!
    April 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterMarcie

    Robert Frost is my favorite poet and I love trees for the exact reasons that Marcie wrote. You combined them in such a perfect combination. I just love this piece, Cherry! Thank you.
    April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Blackwell (redleash)

    love the season pictures of the tree. I thought ivy was bad for the tree, it was bad for my roof ;-( thanks for sharing
    April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPetra

    You must know Thomas Packenham’s Meetings with Remarkable Trees book? (I think that’s the title). How lucky you are to have such beauty right there – and the tree so lucky to be so appreciated.
    One of my most favourite things to do is to lie on my back looking up through filigree branches…
    April 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterEliza

    i love this, i so understand how one can fall in love with a tree… they do have this other-worldly feeling about them, always.
    and yes, stories, always whispering their stories to the world, always watching over us like sentinels.
    April 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

    Lovely image! Thank you for the ivy fact, I was a little concerned myself. One of my favorite poems of all time is Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees.”

    ….a thing as lovely as a tree…
    April 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPuna

    Oh, something new to learn about ivy and trees. Thanks. I love the trees, too. I find them gentle and strong and powerful and just right. I can’t remember if I ever saw a tree that I didn’t like. Interesting, eh?
    April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJozica @ Creatissimo

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