A Travellerspoint blog

Irish flora

The stuff of fairytales

Ireland is lush with fast flowing streams and mossy trees, young and old. We were constantly getting weird looks as we went on about the trees. The forests are straight out of The Lord of the Rings, all falling somewhere between Galadriel’s forest and Mirkwood.

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Many of the places we visited had forests which had been managed for hundreds of years. This makes for some mighty trees. On the Muckross lands we saw an area that had a number of massive trees toppled due to age, or some storm in the recent past. It was heartbreaking and sad to see such majestic giants brought low.

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To date I have not been to see the California Redwoods. Thus, my only experience of truly massive trees is memories of photos my grandfather had taken while a young logger in a northwest lumber camp, Caslyn, in the early 1930’s. Those photos were of logging off first growth in the cascade mountains. Tree diameters were more than the height of a man, and so tall! Four and five wagons were needed to haul off the lengths of firs, pines, and cedars.

In the northwest hardwood is rare, whereas in Ireland the massive hardwood, leafy, trees seemed to have been everywhere. The canopies were awe inspiring. We saw the mighty giants in so many places: in amidst hedge groves, in managed lands, in parks, and in deep hilly ravines.

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Unlike ancient monuments or buildings, they are living. So, rather than an awe to make one feel small and like a blip on the timescale; these large, majestic, and ponderous trees evoke respect, and a sensation that they are capable of empathy and kindness. They were tender seedlings long before memory; they have endured. Beneath their canopy of cool benevolent shadow, one is safe; sheltered in still wisdom and compassion.

We had to go on about the trees, we were journeying amidst sleeping Ents!

Posted by Jeanny Preston 13:39

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