Celtic Tree Month of Elder


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We are just into the Celtic Tree month of Elder, an enchanting small tree…

‘The tree is said to have within itself the ‘Elder Mother’, called Elle or Hyldemoer in Scandinavian and Danish myth. She is said to work strong earth magic and according to legend, avenged all who harmed her host trees.  No forester of old would touch elder, let alone cut it, before asking the Elder Mother’s permission three times over and even then he was still in dread of her possible wrath.  Likewise, in many country districts of Europe and Britain, wise people will show respect by touching their hats when passing elder trees, in continuance of ancient custom.  Certain North American tribes also believe that elder is the Mother of the human race.

According to legend, witches would often turn themselves into elder trees, and one famous witch-tree turned a king and his men to stone, thereby creating the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire, England.  This ancient piece of folklore tells of a Danish king, on his way to battle for the English Crown with his warriors, meeting the witch and asking her what his fate would be. The witch replied:

Seven long strides thou shalst take,

And if Long Compton though canst see

King of England thou thalst be.’

Source: ‘Tree Wisdom’ by Jacqueline Memory Paterson


The Bluebell Wood


These cherry trees, full of blossom, simply shout ‘Spring’ don’t they; although it does look a bit like snow. If it wasn’t for the buttercups and daisies, I would be a tad suspicious…

This is my local park, not five minutes from my cottage and beyond is the wood where I love to wander. Last time I took you there, we had just received a heavy fall of snow.  If you want to be reminded, click here.

However if you’d rather stay with Spring, come look at the beautiful bluebells, almost out completely in these pictures.






I even managed to find a few white ones.






and just when you were getting dreamy, here we are back in the park again.


When The Bluebells Bloom

There is so much beauty in Nature but as lovely a thing as I’ve seen
Is in May when the bluebells are blooming on the ditch along the old bohreen
The wild hyacinths of Mother Nature so lovely and bell like and blue
When the bohreen is lit by bright sunlight they sparkle in the morning dew.

Of the beautiful bluebells of Nature the memory with me remain
On the damp and shady ditch of the bohreem they bloom in the wind and the rain
Surrounded by Nature’s leafy greenery where nesting birds whistle and sing
In fancy I can visualize the beauty of the Northern Spring.

In May when the bluebells are blooming birds whistle on the hedgerows and trees
And the wildflowers blooming amongst the long grass are dancing in the freshening breeze
And the hawthorns are heavily laden in their fragile blossoms of white
Than the natural beauty of Nature there’s not a more beautiful sight.

When the bluebells bloom by the bohreen the little brown lark upwards fly
And pleasant the sound of his carolling this tiny speck in the Spring sky
And though I now live far from the bohreen in distance almost a World away
I fancy I hear the birds singing in the leafy woodlands of May.

Francis Duggan