When I sit in my comfortable red sofa and gaze out through my living room windows, I see a row of birch tress. In fact, there are many in my neighbourhood, no matter which direction I look; there will be one or more of these in my view.
Birch trees are one of the most common trees around Northern Europe and Central Europe as well. There are many things I like about the birch. I love when it start flowering as it means spring is definitely peaking. It is blooming right now and its flowers account for the majority of the total current pollen count here in Denmark. The flowers are of particular shape and easy to recognize.
Even more characteristic is its bark, which gives a feeling of having many layers of a paper-thin quality and is white in colour. In fact, the name birch is derived from the Germanic root, birka, with the Proto-Indo-European root bherəg, meaning "white, bright; or to shine." In fact the Danish name is birk, the Swedish björk and in the Slavic language the birch is called breza; they are all very similar words.
In forests with birch tress one can find many mushrooms, which are delicious in soups and sauces, or just freshly prepared with scrambled eggs. I recall back in the past, how I often went picking mushrooms with my parents in the autumn and I loved the way my mother would prepare them in the evening, after a long day out.
And of course, the birch wood is my favourite kind to use as a fuel in my fireplace. The wood, with its ornate bark is not just a lovely decoration when stored indoors, but the thin layers of bark aid greatly in the ease in which it burns.
Eventually, most of all however I love to watch how the birch trees changes through the seasons, which is a true sign of the circle of life that is nature.