Friday, 22 February 2013

Birch Appeal

Birch trees have been poetically referred to as if they were of feminine gender. Elegant specimens waving in the breeze may have been the inspiration. But wrinkles are not usually considered a desirable attribute for the fair sex. They can though be a most appealing addition to the charms of the elderly male. So a fusion of the two. As it bears male and female catkins it seems only right that other aspects of its character reflect the dual nature.

 Birch gets its crevices and its age related charms early in life, bringing a mature look to younger woodland.

For several decades after the moor ceased being a grouse shooting facility the slopes to the east became host to many of these trees. In a few weeks time as they green up they will be resounding to the songs of warblers. Until then we have these wonderful textures to admire.

It could be argued that birch demonstrates as much diversity in its bark patternings as any other native tree. So much for the land managers who love to identify it as scrub, the sound of the word itself justifying a level of persecution only outdone by those who wish to cull deer, corvines and other independent wildlife.

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