8 January 2021

Tree

Last September I came across a lonely spruce tree on moorland between Sheffield and the Derbyshire village of Baslow. See here. It had been dramatically bent over by prevailing winds and I vowed to return to it from time to time to take fresh pictures.

At present, I am staying quite close to home whenever Shirley is at work. This is simply because our heavily pregnant daughter is due to give birth any day now. Yesterday, I phoned her before venturing out into the winter's day for little more than an hour. No immediate signs of  impending birth so I had Frances's permission.

Here in the city, it was a beautiful blue sky January day but by the time I got to the spruce tree, clouds were swirling and a snow storm appeared to be approaching from the west. It was bitterly cold up there and I thought that I had missed an opportunity to capture the crippled tree in glorious technicolour. Fortunately, there was a five minute spell when sunshine burst through a gap in  the clouds.

I have fallen head over heels in love with that tree. I ran my fingers along its bark and felt its spiny leaves. It appears to be bent at almost ninety degrees but of course things are not always as they seem. It is clear that in some hurricane or wintry blast - perhaps years ago - this tree lost its top section. A cruel beheading courtesy of Mother Nature.

Back home, I immediately phoned Frances again. Still no birth pangs. That babe is staying put for a while and I don't blame him or her one bit. It's a wild world out here as Cat Stevens warbled plaintively long ago. Snug inside a warm, watery sac dreaming dreams of the unborn may seem a better alternative.

50 comments:

  1. Interesting tree shape . We have trees shaped by wind at higher elevations in the Rockies.

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    1. I guess you saw some of them with your own eyes when you were a young mountain hiker.

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  2. Amazing how the trajectory of that tree is now, in its wounded state, perfectly aligned to the slope on the ground from which it sprang. I hope your princess has a wonderful birth experience and that she is delivered of a healthy babe.

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    1. And see how she (the tree) is aligned with that swathe of light in the cloud cover of the second picture.

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    2. Yes, indeed! It is as if the lit up cloud mirrors the tree's crown.

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  3. Broken. Bent. Still thriving.

    How exciting...you will become a grandpa before our very eyes! Take it from one who knows - there is no magic more delightful than that! Our very best to Frances and child and to you and Shirley!

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    1. Broken. Bent. Still thriving...for a moment I thought you were doing some self-analysis Debby!

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    2. A hopeful analysis of my country, more like...although like all people, there have been times in my life where this could apply to me. Onward, YP, ever onward!

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    3. Onward! To infinity and beyond!

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  4. As the twig is bent so the tree shall grow, literally in the case of this tree.
    Alphie

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    1. It's a metaphor growing from the moortop.

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  5. Hopefully, the baby won't keep waiting his or her parents and grandparents for much longer!

    I can understand why you fell in love with that tree. It is very special, and amazing that it grew there tall enough to be called a tree in the first place, in such averse conditions.

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    1. You don't see trees like that very often.

      P.S. adverse not averse (I know you like to be accurate).

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    2. Thank you, I shall take not of it and hopefully not repeat the error.

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  6. Good job you didnt get cut-off there in a snow storm and Frances went into labour after all. Love the tree. It looks like a giant hairdryer is drying its hair.

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    1. Ha-ha! I love that hairdryer notion ADDY.

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  7. "That is one beautiful tree!" I shouted a little too enthusiastically, scared the man in the kitchen getting my tea. He ran over, startled - and had to agree. Nice shot!
    Glad to hear that soon there will be a fresh plump little darling to grow your heart even larger!
    The final photo completely undid me!
    That is such a fabulous shot of such an amazing tree, sky, fence, angle. WOW! Just WOW! And soon, you will have a perfect wee Bebe to place beneath that perfect tree for more amazing photos. Best wishes to your daughter. Exciting news.

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    1. Lovely comment Linda Sue. Appreciated. I doubt that our daughter would approve of a baby photoshoot up there!

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  8. To misquote Kilmer...
    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as that tree

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    1. "Poems are made by fools like me,
      But only God can make a tree."

      Trouble is I do not believe in God but I do believe in Nature, the seasons and the passing of days.

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  9. Excellent photos YP - and they go to show how changeable the weather is. Not a day for idly contemplating the scenery.
    All the best to Frances - and her anxious family.

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    1. I appreciate your kind wishes CG. Have you been sunbathing on the beach today?

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    2. Sadly no, it rained all day yesterday, and all day today so far, with more promised tomorrow. Haven't put my head out of doors!

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    3. One day springtime will come.

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  10. Do you remember "The Lightning Tree" Follyfoot Farm theme tune YP? I think it was set in Yorkshire? You have just jogged my mental jukebox. I think the band who sung the theme tune were called The Settlers? Super picture.

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    1. I have heard that before. It never crossed my mind that my moorland tree might have been struck by lightning.

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  11. Replies
    1. Try it yourself Tasker but no consummation!

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  12. Lovely tree YP. Anxious yet exciting times for you all at the moment..how lovely to be waiting to meet your grandchild.x

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    1. Our children were both two weeks late so maybe there are a few days left Libby.

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  13. I, too, would have fallen in love. I think we all have our favourite trees (as mentioned in my recent walk). We obviously adapt subconsciously to circumstances. I would never think of lightning if I saw a damaged tree on Lewis (we very rarely have thunderstorms) and would assume a hurricane. On the other hand when I'm in the Lowlands or England or Wales I think of lightning because I was told as a wee child never to stand under a tree in a thunderstorm and quite a few trees in our local woods were riven by a strike.

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    1. I must go over to your blog to read that post.

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  14. I would be in love with that tree, too. There have been many trees in my life that I've formed an attachment to and remember.

    We're all waiting on the baby right along with you! I hope Frances and Stewart will allow you to share a photo with us when the little one arrives.

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    1. I must remember to ask for permission. I do not think that they will mind.

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  15. Thank you. Thank you for loving this tree and thank you for letting us love it too through your pictures. Beautiful. I had to google spruce trees and found that they can live to be 200 years old although...it is not unheard of that they can live to be eight or nine hundred years old. I wonder how old your beauty is.

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    1. Next time I go up there I will ask her Ms Moon.

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  16. Is this the spot where Catherine Earnshaw met Heathcliff?
    Imagine standing by this lonely tree and meeting Emily Bronte.

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    1. I have visited Top Withens near Haworth - reputed to be the inspiration for the old farmhouse in "Wuthering Heights". It is in a lonelier place than that little tree...
      "Ey up Emily! How's it going lass?"
      "Oh dear. My father said that I should not talk to strangers."
      "Suit thysen Emily!"

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    2. Haworth I have to see, when this fatal pandemic is over.
      Lonely places draw us. There are YouTube videos of abandoned homes in Canada.
      In a used bookstore in Glasgow I saw an American girl picking up a copy of Emily B's masterpiece, and saying to her friend, *This is stupid as well as pointless.*
      I seem to recall Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany's) saying to Capote, *Why Can't you write something like Wuthering Heights?*
      Capote tells her not to compare him to a genius.
      I wonder what that American girl thought of Emily Dickinson, another genius.

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    3. I bet that American girl voted for Trump.

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  17. Your photogenic tree. Thriving in the face of adversity.

    A lesson for all of us.

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    1. One day I may write a poem about that tree.

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  18. I wonder how long that tree has been there and how long ago it lost its top? You should photograph it once a month -- it would make an interesting collage at year's end!

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    1. It's a great idea Steve...but I don't think I could find that level of commitment inside me but rest assured and I will be back to it.

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  19. I wanted to leave another comment and let you know that the first photo of the tree is now the background on my computer! :)

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    1. I am honoured Jennifer and as it is you I will waive my usual fees.

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  20. Someday I'd like to see all the photos of the tree together

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    1. I must gather more of it. I hope no one saws it down.

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  21. It is a great tree. I get quite sentimental over trees and this one is a good example of adapting to your environment, rather that changing your environment to suit you.

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    1. I had not thought of it that way but you are right Andrew. In spite of serious injury this tree just carried on.

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