Thursday 19 August 2010

Sunlight through Beech leaves

Hirst Wood, near Shipley in Yorkshire, stands on an area of terminal moraine laid down by a glacier in the last ice age. The River Aire curves round its western edge and is closely followed by the Leeds Liverpool canal across the northern boundary. Although Hirst Wood consists predominantly of oak trees, you can also find silver birch, pussy willow and a central hanger of the trees in this photograph, which are beech.

I love all trees, but I think beech are amongst my favourite, with their tall, smooth grey-barked trunks and the graceful spread of the canopy high overhead. In autumn they turn a beautiful golden brown and carpet the woodland floor with their leaves; perfect for kicking up on a cold October morning. It is the thickness of this leaf cover, preventing the growth of much undertree foliage, which gives beech woods such an open feel. They always give me a sense of peacefulness and space; like a natural cathedral.

My mum used to make brooches out of beads arranged inside the open casings of the 3-sided beech nut. I remember that she would sometimes sell them when the Ladies group she belonged to organised coffee mornings or stalls as fundraisers. They were quite popular. The casings, I discover, are called cupules, while the nuts, I already knew, are beechmast.

I'm linking this post to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday Rainbow colour school - Green, for the colour of the translucent leaves.


  1. These are absolutely beautiful photos. Leaves me feeling quite peaceful.

  2. Hi again,

    So much tranquil beauty here - love all the green in your post! And didn't know brooches can be made in that way!

    Happy AlphabeThursday Green,


    PS My own AlphabeThursday Green is posted if you can join me… HERE!

  3. This is beautiful. Your mom's pieces sound wonderful too.

  4. Beautiful light - I love sunlight through the treetops.

  5. It looks so peaceful and cool. I'd love to take a blanket and sit there and read...

  6. Such mysterious photos with the sunlight pearing thru. Nice green post.

  7. Sunlight and sky coming through a beautiful tree is one of my favorite views.



  8. I wish I could take cool pics like this.

  9. jeez, this just looks like natures wonderland, perfect for stroll!

  10. What a lovely cool respite from Arizona's summer browns and blahs.

    I loved the story about your Mom. I would love to see a pictue of a broach like that. I can't quite visualize it but I suspect it was charming.

    I am determined to come to visit your lovely country again. I'm going to start nagging my husband now!

    Thank you for linking.