Thursday, 28 December 2017

Tree Magic

When snow falls on treeless moorland - a landscape designed by man to provide the over-privileged classes with birds to shoot - the result visually is some minor temporary relief from the relentless monotony of what is essentially a static industrial scenery.

If nature has been allowed to reclaim the land - something easily done by the simple stratagem of humans going off and doing something else somewhere else - the snow falls on on trees and the result is visual delight.

There are those who, astonishingly, claim to see beauty in grouse moors. All I can say is that they must have never seen woodland at a high level or, more likely, that they have some kind of vested interest in the destructive denuding of land which should be covered in trees: sheep farmers, grouse shooters, chimerical loggers or feeble-minded consumers of the propaganda put out by such parties.

There is so little woodland at this height that places like Blacka should have a much greater profile. Here, when lower land is without snow and other land at an equal high level or even higher has been left treeless, Blacka's trees give us views of such variety of beauty, different at every turn, that one wonders why so few people are out sampling the pleasures close to their doorsteps. Perhaps they are poring over their holiday brochures at the kitchen table and planning long distance flights to an exotic paradise (in company with scores of other travellers).

Meanwhile here are treasures. The fresh whites change minute by minute with the colours provided by the rising sun. The sculptured forms of each individual tree are revealed afresh in high contrast.

Further off across the clearing a roebuck can just be seen dancing away through the birch, oak and alder that have so far survived the philistine axe.

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