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the lady of the woods and her neighbours

June 29, 2010
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Now, here’s a question that was bound to occur me one Tuesday or another. What kind of tree do you see yourself as? (Hideous grammar: I mean, ‘As what kind of tree do you see yourself?’)

I ask, because today’s tree is the most elegant of all trees: the lady of the woods, the Silver Birch.

Summer or winter, the birch is ineffably elegant, standing tall, pale and slim beside its bulkier neighbours. It grows well in the thin soil of the Scottish Highlands and graces many an otherwise bleak glen. Here on the highland line, it mixes with the many other species that thrive here, but always seems just a little aloof.

I think I would like to be a silver birch. Pale I can certainly manage. Tall, yes. Aloof, well…I don’t think I am, any more than living in a place like this dictates…private might be my preferred word (ironic, as I am broadcasting myself in a blog). Alas, however, I will always be a little more, shall we say, comfortable in silhouette than some of my elvishly slim, birch-like friends. Perhaps I am more of a Rowan tree: a native of the west of Scotland, lover of high wild places, ordinary yet slightly mysterious, entwined with tales of old magic; pretty enough in the spring, colourful and bountiful in the autumn. That is a tree I’d be happy to associate with. (Or even, with which to associate.) How about you?

Rowan in Glen Affric: photo by Laurie Campbell, from

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 4:21 pm

    I think I’d most like to be a Sugar Maple, so I could wear their colours in autumn.
    But, I’m also fascinated by Monkey Puzzles.

  2. June 29, 2010 11:16 pm

    In my dreams I’d LOVE to be a silver birch! Not sure which tree I am really – something that pixies like anyway as someone once said I had “pixie energy” about me! Tee Hee!

  3. Wendy permalink
    July 1, 2010 2:18 am

    Oh silver birch sounds good to me too! What a concept – and one that I hadn’t thought of before. I would probably be a conifer – you know the ones that a sort of bell shaped – wide at the bottom and narrower at top!!?

  4. dancingbeastie permalink
    July 1, 2010 10:42 am

    I am enjoying your replies. See, we all have a tree in us! Or maybe a sort of dryad, a tree guardian. Happy thought.

  5. July 5, 2010 4:27 pm

    A species of Sorbus would suit me fine, perhaps vilmorinii or cashmeriana both of which I grow at my wee cottage in Perthshire. Birches I also love so maybe utilis or ermanii. Acer davidii, one of the beautiful snakebarks, might represent some of the darker aspects of my character!

  6. July 4, 2012 8:06 pm

    Guess I would have to be a hazel tree! 🙂

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      July 4, 2012 9:03 pm

      Well, I guess you would! Another bountiful tree. 🙂


  1. The Tuesday tree: a helpful neighbour « Dancing Beastie
  2. Birches by a frozen loch « Dancing Beastie
  3. The Tuesday tree: rowan « Dancing Beastie

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