Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Stroll - Birch Song

In the summer, one imagines that the wind is singing through the leaves in the trees. Yet in the barren, leafless days of winter, I still hear the wind in the trees. As I stepped out the front door of the house, I was immediately aware of three things: the sun was so bright I could hardly keep my eyes open, the cold air found every bit of skin I hadn't covered with snow gear, and the birch trees on the back hill were singing as the winter wind gave them a voice.

As I made my way to the birches to the southeast, I heard other songs. Last autumn's corn stalks chanted softly in their native tongue.

The tiny creeklet that runs down from the stand of birch trees to join our creek before they both tumble south, was humming merrily.

I climbed up hill, dodging the thorny brambles that in the summer are loaded with wild roses and crimson berries. My graceless scramble up the steep hill in winter boots sent a little rabbit bounding away too quickly for me to photograph.

And then I was there, atop the hill, amid the birches and all around me was their song. In the early spring, little yellow violets bloom in this grove, their season so short that some years I miss it.

I moved back down the hill, with Miss Maudie leaps and bounds ahead of me, into the snow-filled marsh.

I followed the creek north toward the butterfly garden where these two dapper gents allowed me to take a couple of (not very good) photographs before they scurried up and over the back hill.

Maybe they will take a walk in the birch woods later too . It is a silvery place today, with the song of wind and birches trickling down from overhead and the winter sunlight streaming in through the branches.


One Woman's Journey said...

Aisling I love the way you write.
Your images are simple, beautiful and meaningful to this One Woman.

Cloudhands said...

Oh I really wanted to tell my Dad to come and see the Pheasants. How he loved to hunt them, eat them and just see them. If you feel the desire to play the banjo or sing a few bars of 'I'll fly Away', just know he was visiting.

Aisling said...


What a kind thing to say. Thank you for letting me know that you feel that way!

Aisling said...

Cloudhands, One of these two may be an elegant lady rather than a dapper gent as I wrote - I can't decide. *grin* Though I understand the tradition of hunting them, especially in Grandpa's time and place, I'm glad to just have them visit the safe sanctuary of our creekbed. But, I surely will have to hum a few bars of I'll Fly Away in Grandpa's honor.

Margaret Evans Porter said...

I always love the combination of birch trees and blue sky and snow--a favourite part of winter.

What sort of dog is Miss Maudie?

The pheasants are gorgeous!

Aisling said...

Margaret, Thank you for your nice comments. Yes indeed, birches and a blue sky are a lovely winter sight!

Maude is a German Wirehaired Pointer, though I've always made the joke that she is a "German Wired-Up Pointer." Yes they tend to be a little energetic in their youth (about the first 8 years or more!)

Farmer's Daughter said...

I love the birches.

Aisling said...


Thank you!

Everydaywoman said...

I've always love white birches against a blanket of snow. It really allows you to see all the variations of colors, as they're so much more than white!

Lovely photos and lovely prose!

Aisling said...


Thank you so much. It was worth 25 minutes of really cold fingers to spend time in the beauty of nature. Today is even colder... subzero. They are saying it is one of our coldest mornings yet. Brrr.

City Mouse said...

It's a lovely Sunday stroll, and birch are just about my favorite tree. You took some wonderful photos of them. Birch have such a neat personality to them. I love hemlock too. I must have a thing for interesting bark.

Aisling said...

City Mouse,

Bark can be very interesting and wonderful to photograph. The Chinese Elm in my butterfly garden has great bark too.

Thank for visiting my stroll. It is always nice to have you stop by!