Tuesday, 26 April 2011

ABC Wednesday - Oak

An ancient oak, with an opening, or perhaps a gate. In Celtic mythology the oak is the tree of doors, the gateway between worlds, a portal.  Its strength and longevity making it a thing of myth. I wonder how old this tree is? There are ways of measuring their girth and estimating their age, but because it is hollow and has gnarled roots, these are signs that it may be hundreds of years old.
Oak avenue in Levens Park, originally a mile long carriage drive to Levens Hall (famous for its topiary gardens dating back to 1694).  It is now a popular stroll by the River Kent, some of the older trees are further on, these look in rude health.There are some wonderful trees in the park, it is a walk for all seasons.
But here is an oak tree just starting out in life and festooned in oak flowers. The wind will spread the pollen, a sunny warm and breezy spring, which we are having at the moment, means that there will be many acorns in the autumn. A wet spring washes the pollen into the ground and then the flowers do not catch the pollen they need to swell into acorns.  The main oak here in the north is the sessile (Quercus petraea), it is smaller and has a narrower crown than the large southern English oak (Quercus robur). One way to tell them apart is the English oak acorns have stalks, whereas the sessile do not and sit directly on the twig.

At this point I was going to show the acorns, however my memory had played tricks on me , the photo I was thinking of was actually of hazels, a tastier, and safer, option, also by coincidence my Celtic tree birth sign. The hazel is the knower, obviously not in this instance. If you are born between 10th June and 7th July then the oak, the stabiliser, is your sign, strong but gentle.

Over at ABC Wednesday there are lots more words starting with the letter O 

14 comments:

EG Wow said...

I really like the gate in the oak! Celtic mythology is wonderful, isn't it? My tree is the elm. :)

Kay L. Davies said...

My first thought when I saw the metal gate was "What a small jail"!
Except for that instant of causing claustrophobia, your photos are lovely.
I just had to look up my Celtic Tree Birth Sign. I'm an elder. So, because I'm far from young, I'm an older elder, but not as old as this oak tree.
Then I had to see if oaks and elders will grow in Alberta. Thank you for this post. It has kept me entertained for half an hour!
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

VioletSky said...

Kay is too funny!!

Roger Owen Green said...

I love that tree. Maybe Alice in wonderland fell in there.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Wanda said...

What a great tree for a story...That is a magnificent gate...

Our Aunt across the street has an oak tree that covers the entire back yard...it's massive and beautiful.

Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

Great tree. I can see elves, hobbits, dwarfs, all rising at dusk or dawn to "play" .

Tumblewords: said...

I love this post. Oaks are spectacular and your photos do honor to them. The first capture is almost mythical, yes.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots with interesting information. That gate or door to the tree is unique.

chubskulit said...

Oh so beautiful!

A Splash of Orange made my ABC this week, come and see. Thank you!

Paula Scott said...

I love that oak with the portal and iron gate. What a wonderful sight! I did not know the Celtics thought of oak trees in that manner.
The tree reminded me of Sleepy Hollow.

Jane and Chris said...

I thought the gate was a mini prison too!
Off to look up my tree!
Jane x

Ms. Burrito said...

I am getting addicted with this blogging hobby, I get to see beautiful places and learn interesting things. Very nice O you have here..

Mind lOOking at my O entry?, have a nice day!

Greyscale Territory said...

A wonderful old oak tree in the first photo! It looks amazing with that grilled door in it! I always find oaks inspiring! A great sign of security and strength!

jabblog said...

Beautiful photos! My youngest daughter knew a boy called Oak and another called Ash. I have to seek out my Celtic tree now;-)