Birch in Autumn and Winter.


From Ice Swimmer, click for full size. Achingly beautiful, these.

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© Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved.

Comments

  1. Ice Swimmer says

    Birches usually drop their leaves in October, but this one is still green even if there’s snow and frost. The tree is in the town of Kotka, 160 km east of Helsinki, on the south coast. According to the botanist Seppo Vuokko, either a street lamp has prevented the tree from sensing the shortening of the day or the birch is from a more southern population or otherwise genetically disposed to drop the leaves late. The green foliage in the winter is unlikely to cause irreparable damage to the tree as the next years leaves are already prepared in the summer and ready to start in the spring. According to Dr. Vuokko birches sense light in the top parts.

    As an aside, the last name of the botanist, Vuokko means Anemone in English. The name of the town means Eagle.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Caine @ 2

    Thanks, I should also add it to my my wallpapers as it’s the kind of picture that works in that kind of use.

  3. says

    Around here many trees did not discolor and/or drop their leaves on time. A lot of them still has them, although they should be long gone now. I personally blame the abnormally long and warm fall.

    The second picture is soothing somewhat. A beautifull wallpaper indeed, not only on screen -- it would be beautifull on an actual wall too.

    I see in the last picture a few rowan saplings. Now that is a heavy hardwood, and a beautifull one too (both as a tree and as a wood).

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    rq & Charly

    Thanks.

    Charly @ 6

    Yes, rowans are beautiful and common trees in the parks as well as people’s yards. AFAIK, woodworkers here would love to get their hands on large rowan logs that are straight and not rotten.

    I remember from some book about the historic use of various woods here that rowan was used for the tines (teeth) of wooden rakes used in making hay. The handle was made of aspen and the head (connecting the handle and the tines) was made of birch. Raking the hay was women’s work (men would mow with a scythe) and a young man would be likely to give a rake as a gift to a young woman he fancied. The rakes given as gifts would have nice ornaments cut on the head and a meticulously sanded handle. As aspen doesn’t splint easily, a married man would get away with making a rake with a rougher handle, stating that the woman’s hand will smooth it.

  5. Ice Swimmer says

    And one more thing I remembered being said about the wooden rakes: The tines would be attached to the holes in the head by friction, the birch head would have been quite dry and the rowan tines extremely dry so that they would expand more than the birch because of ambient moisture.

  6. says

    Charly

    Around here many trees did not discolor and/or drop their leaves on time. A lot of them still has them, although they should be long gone now. I personally blame the abnormally long and warm fall.

    Yes, I can confirm that. Most birches here are still green/yellow. Though I must say that ours here often take long in spring before they get green again.

    Ice Swimmer

    Raking the hay was women’s work (men would mow with a scythe) and a young man would be likely to give a rake as a gift to a young woman he fancied.

    This remonds me of one of Pratchett’s passages in one of the witch novels: In rural Lancre people had heard about the custom of young women dropping some small object for a dude to pick up but couldn’t understand why: No dude would want a woman who couldn’t take care of her own stuff. Instead the young men would “lose” as bale of hay in front of a young woman’s house and then watch how quickly she snatched it up.

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