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The Tuesday tree: beech woods in springtime

April 26, 2011

In this greenest of Easter-tides, we are looking about us just chuckling with amazement at the lush landscape. Our beech trees are usually just beginning to break into leaf around the beginning of May: this April, they are already in the full juicy green of Spring. The woods are full of birdsong and the susurrus of new leaves. In the distance a woodpecker drums on a tree-trunk. It is a warm afternoon. Wood pigeons murmur; a bee drones past. You can drink this place in like the elixir of life.

Philip Larkin wrote an apposite poem which I used to illustrate spring beech trees last May. I’ve shown the same beech woods in their full September foliage here, and in the amber gold of autumn – my other favourite time of year for beech trees – here.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Margaret Lambert permalink
    April 26, 2011 5:39 am

    It is so true, we feel ourselves grow in spirit with the fullness of Spring. I love that you used “susurrus” in your description, the sound of the word mimics the sound of the leaves. Even our pines whisper with susurrus and remind me of the ocean, when the wind is moving rhythmically. The stress falls away for a few moments as I pause to absorb it all.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 26, 2011 6:35 pm

      Oh, you have ‘ocean-going’ pines too! We are about as far from the sea here as it is possible to be on this narrow island and, when I first came here, I remember being confused by hearing the sea close by. It was the wind in the tall conifers, of course.

  2. April 26, 2011 9:54 am

    Gorgeous photos of beautiful trees and I love the poem by Philip Larken you linked to. It’s such a glorious spring this year.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 26, 2011 6:36 pm

      It really is a marvelous spring, isn’t it!

  3. April 26, 2011 9:42 pm

    The beech are so beautiful and I’ve learnt a new word – ‘susurrus’…and, as Margaret says, it does, indeed, mimic the sounds of the leaves whispering!

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      April 26, 2011 10:15 pm

      Yes, it’s a lovely word. I am a bit of a logophile! Onomatopeic words are especially pleasing I think.


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