It’s an Ent-irely Beautiful Place

Posted on June 25, 2012

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A gorgeous woodland walk just a short distance from our guest house in Ambleside, Lake District

Even before talking and walking forest giant Ents charmed us in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, large cedars dripping with moss have spoken to me. I have happy memories as an adolescent of hiking through several coastal West Coast provincial parks that were a short drive away from where we lived; the trails were like a playground for me. Even today, the lush canopy of that rainforest area still renews me, and the freshness of the heavy boughs after a rain reminds me of a cleansed being and the wonder of nature.

Doesn’t it seem to reach out?

I love forests, but I am also drawn to the death of a tree. I’ve always had a fascination for twisted and gnarly pieces of wood, especially those dramatic, dead standing, old oak and pine trees that seem to have absorbed all the traumas of severe weather and time, and yet have been spared from falling. I believe they have a core stubbornness that didn’t die when the sap ceased to flow within them. There is a special dignity and beauty within the skeleton of a tree standing in a field or by a roadside that often compels me to stop for a photo or two, to take a few moments to digest its starkness.

Only the cows seem to appreciate its beauty

Thankfully, my Hubby also appreciates the drama that comes from contorted giant trees standing picturesque in the countryside. I’ve learned, however, that I just have to give him a  minute of  “lead time” to pull over on the road and not exclaim “Look at that! Pull over, pull over!” (That approach has led to far too many confusions, especially if traffic is involved. Sorry, dear.)

I guess over the years I have gathered a considerable number of photos of twisted, ol’ beauties – yes, I am still talking about trees here, not any friends or family members. Some of my favourite “Ent” photos have actually come from the U.K. where it seems appropriate to mimic a British or Gaelic accent when describing them. The Lake District of England is a prime place for hiking through lakeside forests and traversing miles upon miles of craggy hillsides.

Doesn’t this stump look like a camel with three humps?

Alongside the centuries’ old, dry-stacked stone walls everywhere in that area, and more sheep than you could possibly count, there are many grand but barren oaks just beckoning for someone to witness their artistic stature.

What’s missing from this photographic collection seems to be the Hobbits from the shire. I guess one short, rounded wife and one bearded husband with big feet having a pint or two at the village pub, nestled under a massive old knotty oak, is the closest we can manage. Just call us Baggins-of-Souvenirs and Gandalf the Great (Pubfinder) .

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