‘Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro’ the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.’Taken from The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
There’s a line of trees at the edge of the racecourse field in York that catch the wind on the rise of the hill and if you close your eyes, you could be standing by a waterfall or rushing water.
Even in the slightest breeze they quiver and whisper and are totally magical if you stop and take the time to listen and notice the movement of the leaves. They always remind me of the Lady of Shalott poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. I’m not 100% sure if they are Aspen, but they had me intrigued enough to look up the folklore and mythology related to Aspen trees.
I found this fabulous website Trees for Life and learnt that Aspen were thought to have ‘magical qualities to safeguard the bearer from psychic as well as physical harm.’ A crown of Aspen was thought to allow the wearer to enter the underworld and also to return safely. I recommend visiting their page to read more.
I love how one observation can open up a new world. The Trees for Life Project is based in the Highlands of Scotland and aims to restore the Caledonian Forest. You can donate trees to their project as well as learn about the many wonderful species. I’m already forming a plan for an adventure (but maybe when the midges are less voracious)!