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A rowan for Tuesday and all days

September 10, 2013

I was up on the hills amongst the fading heather yesterday, happy as the bees.,10.9.13-1,10.9.13-2


On the way down again, where the trees began, I paused to admire a splendidly gnarled old rowan tree.,10.9.13-3


It reminded me that I have been asked to pick up the thread of my Tuesday Tree posts, which have been rather neglected this year. So here is a rowan for Tuesday, a Thomas More-like rowan for all times and all seasons, in fact, for these are trees that are both deep with resonances and decorative throughout the year. I have never seen one quite as bent, as ancient-looking, as many-trunked as this one: an upland tree that speaks powerfully of the will to survive.,10.9.13-4


This is the rowan’s best season, when the berries light up the byways, so it is no great coincidence that The Hazell Tree blog/magazine features the rowan too this week. Jo Woolf has written a wonderful article there, saying everything I would want to say and more about this very Scottish tree. If you are a tree-hugger (as I hope you are) I urge you to drop in there to find out more.,10.9.13-5


You might also enjoy A helpful neighbour.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Erika W. permalink
    September 11, 2013 12:34 am

    Lovely–a Tuesday tree and wonderful reference to

    Thank you so much.

  2. September 11, 2013 12:59 am

    That tree is simply elegant. Lost of stories wrapped in those trunks …are there legends/myths about them? This one looks like a human has been turned into tree for some reason…maybe a young lover doomed by a tree spell and a lady with her long hair tossed by winds of time who decided to join him? Romeo and Juliet tree style (giggles)
    The landscape seems to ooze legends and stories waiting to be discovered
    Beautiful pictures

    • September 12, 2013 11:43 pm

      Yes, I agree, I often think that the landscapes and the trees here are full of deeper stories than we can discern. What a couple of old Romantics we are! 🙂
      There are certainly myths and magic attached to the rowan, as you will discover at the Hazell Tree blog.

  3. September 11, 2013 1:52 am

    There is something about an old tree with a gnarled trunk leaning precariously from the prevailing winds… it fills me with melancholic admiration.

  4. September 11, 2013 6:37 am

    Thank you so much for the link and your lovely words – I love the rowan as much as you do, and I especially love that gnarled old tree! What stunning landscapes – I bet it was wonderful being up in the heather.

    • September 12, 2013 11:47 pm

      It’s such a treat to find someone else thinking and writing along similar lines.
      Oh, it was blissful up in the heather. I think you would have relished it. There is still plenty of heather (including some bell heather) in bloom, and the odd harebell, and bees humming, and a fat brown toad crawling solemnly through the heather roots, and the occasional chuckle of grouse….what a place to have on one’s doorstep. 🙂

  5. henrietta permalink
    September 11, 2013 2:48 pm

    From my window here I am watching the antics of greedy blackbirds and thrushes squabbling over the berries on the rowan tree before my window. Your tree reminds me of many wonderful walks as a child in Scotland. The trunks are amazing – and possibly a little bit magic as well

    • September 12, 2013 11:49 pm

      The birds adore rowan berries, don’t they? I have never yet got round to making rowan jelly, but I tell myself that it’s because the birds need the berries more than I do.
      There is undoubtedly magic of some sort in old rowan trees…

  6. September 12, 2013 4:31 pm

    A wonderful, ancient tree, as well as the remains of an ancient wall. Perfect.

  7. September 13, 2013 10:39 pm

    Oh, the hills and the heather beneath that wonderful blue sky. Scotland is SO beautiful. As for the rowan, that trunk is worthy of Tolkien – not the Lord of the Rings but somewhere in The Hobbit, I think. 🙂

    • September 15, 2013 10:47 pm

      I wonder if it might be a small Ent? It certainly looks old enough! Otherwise I think it would be at home somewhere to the wild east of the Shire; perhaps on the Ettenmoors. 🙂 This time of year always re-awakens my interest in all things Middle Earth, as a matter of fact: several times I have started a re-reading of The Lord of the Rings on Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday, 22nd September.

  8. September 14, 2013 8:56 pm

    Oh I love your Tuesday tree! Thank you for reinstating it! I’ve not had much chance to comment and have sadly neglected blog reading this summer – you know how it is… but catching up now. I LOVE Rowans. They are true survivors and I take heart from their tenacity. I have planted a couple in my garden. One is now just getting taller than me – er that’s 4 ft. Hee hee. But no berries yet…. must investigate why…….

    • September 15, 2013 10:50 pm

      How nice that you still like the Tuesday tree – after all, it was really thanks to you and other islanders that it started in the first place! I’ll try to keep it going.
      Rowans are wonderful, aren’t they. True survivors, as you say, and proof that you don’t have to be tall to be an asset to your area. 🙂

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