A Favourite Oak Tree

Oak on the edge of a buttercup meadow

A wider shot of the oak in context on the edge of a buttercup meadow might leave you unsure which tree has made my favourites list.

Oak in November
November

It’s the one on the left that looks like two when its structure is laid bare by autumn: an oak tree in elegant decline.

Peering under the canopy reveals more of its story. The tree is supporting itself on a hefty, forked branch that has grown down to the ground and, most likely, rooted there.

Oak tree propped up by a rooted branch

Muscular branches prop and lean, wind and interlock, giving the impression of something wrestling itself.

Oak in June
June

Like all mature oaks, it is host to a wide range of insects, animals and birds, and is connected to an underground community we are only just starting to understand.

Shared for Becky’s TreeSquare.

38 Replies to “A Favourite Oak Tree”

  1. What a great post! Your descriptors are so exactly right — “wrestling itself,” for instance, is such a good word capture of the energy and tension in that visual. I am in awe of the tree, but also of that buttercup meadow. I even love the words “buttercup meadow”! It would appear you are creating a unique tree calendar.

    1. I asked my sweetheart if you had buttercups in the US. He said there are several different plants called buttercups and that they are “generally all yellow and leave pollen on your nose”.

        1. Do you have the childhood test over there? We hold a buttercup under someone’s chin to see if they like butter – a golden reflection says you do – so I dare say I have had my fair share of pollen under my chin if not on my nose.

          1. As a matter of fact, we do! I thought of it yesterday as I contemplated the buttercup. Ours was with dandelions. It was not a very reliable test, though: it said I didn’t like butter but my addiction to homemade cookies said otherwise.

    1. I’d love to have had chance to go into the old part of Wistman’s Wood, but it is not near by and they are probably wisely asking people to keep out now.

  2. Old trees have such a strong personality and they’ve been overlooking the comings and goings of their area for such a long time that they feel like a benevolent presence – something comforting and stable in a changing world.

    1. You do feel a presence if you are alert to it. I was marvelling at an old cherry tree today that looked healthy enough but when you got up close it was hollow inside.

  3. The combination of oaks and buttercups is a familiar one here in springtime. No matter where they combine, they’re delightful. The interwoven branches resting on the ground are familiar, too. Some of our oldest trees will do that, and many of the branches are so large it’s easy to believe the trees are a century or more of age. I especially like the colors of the ‘November’ photo: brown and green are a lovely combination.

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