Archive

quercus

Though autumn storms rage

the tree grips the earth, grounded,

waiting for the spring

Acer campestre - field maple

Acer campestre – field maple

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Carpinus betulus - common hornbeam

Carpinus betulus – common hornbeam

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Chaemaecyparis lawsoniana - Lawson's cypress

Chaemaecyparis lawsoniana – Lawson’s cypress

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Fagus sylvatica - common beech

Fagus sylvatica – common beech

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Olea europaea - European olive

Olea europaea – European olive

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Platanus orientalis - the oriental plane

Platanus orientalis – the oriental plane

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Quercus - the Cambridge Oak. Thought to be a hybrid of Q. robur and Q. rugosa

Quercus – the Cambridge Oak. Thought to be a hybrid of Q. robur and Q. rugosa

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Sequoiadendron giganteum - the giant sequoia

Sequoiadendron giganteum – the giant sequoia

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Taxus baccata - the common yew

Taxus baccata – the common yew

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Zelkova carpinifolia - the caucasian zelkova

Zelkova carpinifolia – the caucasian zelkova

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unknown beauty at the arboretum Volcji Potok in Slovenia

unknown beauty at the arboretum Volcji Potok in Slovenia


…to the tune   “A TRIP TO BANALITY AND BACK ON ODIN’S HORSE”.

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On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me Yggdrasil – cold, dark northern mother of every partridge in all the pear trees.

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On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me TWO sacred groves, where germanic pagans made yuletide sacrifice of turtle doves, and Yggdrasil…

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On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me THREE frankish henchmen, with St Boniface to fell Donar’s nasty pagan oak, TWO sacred groves…

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On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me FOUR Livonian Schwarzhäupter sworn to defend the Baltic from pagan revolts, THREE frankish henchmen, TWO sacred groves…

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On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me

M-A-R-T-I-N     L-U-T-H-E-R-S    R-I-N-G-S

(glittering as he added those candles to his saxon fir tree)… FOUR Livonian schwarzhaupter, THREE Frankish henchmen…

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On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me SIX German princesses with time a-laying heavy… M-A-R-T-I-N     L-U-T-H-E-R-S    R-I-N-G-S… FOUR schwartzhaupter, THREE French henchmen, TWO sacred groves…

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On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me SEVEN Victorian matrons swooning, SIX princesses a-languishing,  M-A-R-T-I-N     L-U-T-H-E-R-S    R-I-N-G-S… FOUR schwartzhaupter, THREE French henchmen…

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On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me EIGHT schmaltzy scribblers (having a dickens of a time) milking, SEVEN matrons swooning, SIX princesses a-languishing,  M-A-R-T-I-N     L-U-T-H-E-R-S    R-I-N-G-S…

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On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me NINE Bolsheviks dancing around their secular New Year Tree, EIGHT schmaltzy scribblers, SEVEN matrons swooning, SIX princesses a-languishing,  M-A-R-T-I-N     L-U-T-H-E-R-S    R-I-N-G-S…

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On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me TEN Boston lords leaping-angry at the PC “holiday tree”, NINE bolshies dancing, EIGHT schmaltzy scribblers, SEVEN matrons swooning…

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On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me ELEVEN million dollars flaunted on the “Most Expensive Christmas Tree Ever Created”, in a muslim city, in a bling bling hotel, TEN angry lords, NINE bolshies dancing, EIGHT schmaltzy scribblers…

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On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me TWELVE pages of hits on “Christmas Tree” in the Kindle e-book store, including the classics: The First Christmas Tree…The Last Christmas Tree…The Lonely Christmas Tree…Get A Good Christmas Tree or Die Trying…Baby Beneath The Christmas Tree (MIlls and Boon)…An Angel for the Christmas Tree (probably not Mills and Boon)…A Cowboy Under My Christmas Tree (?)…Swapping (and worse) Around the Christmas Tree (definitely NOT Mills and Boon)… BOGOF (the supermarket cat) and the Christmas Tree… The Runaway Christmas Tree…und so weiter, as the Weihnachtsbaum lovers say….

…ELEVEN million dollars, TEN Lords a-leaping, NINE Bolshies dancing, EIGHT schmaltzy scribblers, SEVEN matrons swooning, SIX princesses a-languishing…

M-A-R-T-I-N     L-U-T-H-E-R-S    R-I-N-G-S

…FOUR schwartzhaupter, THREE French henchmen, TWO sacred groves…and Yggdrasil,.. where all this craziness begins.

bah humbug

It’s National Tree Week in the UK, “an annual celebration to start the UK’s winter tree planting season”. With the diabolically wet weather right now, let’s hope all those keenly dug planting holes are not a complete wash out. (Trees can drown too).

For those who would like to learn more, maybe even to support the cause, here are three excellent authorities to inform:

THE BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/20464917

THE UK TREE COUNCIL

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/20464917

TIMES EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT (TES) – teaching resources

http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/National-Tree-Week-3012589/

Robin’s rest

And for those who just like to look at interesting trees, here’s what is claimed to be the “most famous tree in England” – The Major Oak (Robin Hood’s Oak) in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. It has a girth of 33 feet and is estimated between 800 and 1000 years old.

When George Dubya famously confused Slovenia and Slovakia there were probably some wry smiles among the liberal cognoscenti, but who can really blame the man for failing to distinguish two small countries, neither of which existed in his schooldays?

My knowledge of Slovakia is limited to a one day bus-trip from  Vienna across the Donau/ Danube to Bratislava. I’m sure it’s a wonderful country, but I’ll leave others to extol its virtues.

Slovenia, on the other hand, is a place I’ve come to love since first encountering it – almost by accident en route from Croatia – nine years ago. And as it only celebrated its twenty first birthday this year I feel privileged to have known it for so long.

Slovenia’s most photographed tree

So, after nine years of this continuing love affair, which I’ll be re-kindling just one one week from today, here are nine woody snippets to whet your appetite (and mine):

1. Outside the arctic circle, Slovenia is the most wooded country in Europe, making it a tree lover’s dream holiday destination. More than half (59%) of this small country is forest. Much  of the country is covered by beech forests or by mixed beech (fir/beech or beech/oak). 54% is deciduous and 46% coniferous.

2. In addition to its national parks, regional parks and nature parks there are 286 “Natura 2000” designated protected areas  – 36% of the country’s land areas, the largest percentage among EU states.

3. Seventy four per cent of Slovenia’s forests are privately owned and managed on a small scale, averaging only 3 hectares, and often sub-divided into even smaller units.

4. According to data from the middle of the last decade there were over 300,000 private owners, which means that at least 1 in every 7 Slovenes owns a little piece of heaven.

5. Government forestry sites report that this “major fragmentation of forest property, the number of forest owners and co-owners, present a serious obstacle  to professional work in private forests, to optimal timber production and utilisation of forest potential”. Hooray!

6. Each year, the forests create another 7.9 million cubic metres of wood, but the local logging industry only manages to cut around 3.7million cubic metres. Hooray!

7. There are 12, 624 kilometres of forest roads. Hooray!

8. The Kocevje region in the south of the country, with its unique Karst landscape,  is 90% covered by forest, and includes 6 of Slovenia’s 12 stretches of primaeval forest  – once a land of brown bear, wolf and lynx.

9. As far as I can tell, there is only 1 arboretum in Slovenia. I wonder why?

It has taken me 9 years and the discovery of WordPress to understand and express just exactly why I love this beautiful country so much.

PLEASE DON’T VISIT!

I want the place exclusively to myself, unspoiled by the ravages of mass tourism.