April 28, 2009

Birch Trees.

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.


20 comments :

Tom said...

One of my earliest memories is picking mushrooms in an Austrian forest with my family. I must have been about three years old but the pictures in my mind are still so vivid. Thanks for bringing back the memory, those were happy days!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Gorgeous aren't they? I can just imagine them swaying in the breeze :-)

Jeanne said...

Birch trees really are a prelude to Spring. I love the nordic and slavic translations of the word - fascinating.
Picking wild mushrooms is like growing your own veg - they always taste so much better!
A lovely post for an avid nature-watcher like me.
x

Julie Hibbard said...

Beautiful, lovely and peaceful. The trees...and you.
So calm and pretty. Thank you for sharing these reminders of nature's constant beauty.

Betsy said...

I've never been mushroom picking...it sounds so fun, plus getting to eat the fruits of your labor when the day is done! Birch trees are beautiful...love the white bark. But I never noticed the flowering before. I wonder if ours do that here in the States.

Shelly's Style Shop said...

What a beautiful view you have from you window. Those birch trees are so beautiful. ;-)

You write so beautifully. I feel like I am right there with you looking out through your window. I love it! I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday. xoxo, Shelly

Claus said...

The type of trunk of the birch tree looks a lot as a type of tree we have in Guatemala, though the foliage is completely different to the one you have in Denmark. Maybe it's a different species? I'm glad you have such wonderful nature, together with Spring, right now. Such a nice season!

Tereza Š. said...

I like birch trees too, it remindes me of my childhood when me and my best friend were going to the near pont and sitting under the birch tree. :) Unfortunately, we are not best friends anymore, in fact I haven´t seen her for past 6 months.
Interesting post anyways. :)

Tereza

Rosezilla said...

I'm sure the birch trees are lovely, and I really do love trees of almost every kind... but I can't stop thinking of your lovely, comfy RED sofa!!!

Holly said...

I am growing ever so jelous of your gorgous yard and lush greenery. I adore birch trees!! The view out of your windows seems surreal.

Your last post made me laugh. It would be very unsettling to hear that voice, especially such a disturbing one,...but then when I saw the face that it was coming out of I just lauhed out loud.

Mahmud Yussop said...

The birch trees look very painterly . It's hardly that we see white trunks like those here.Interesting.

Diane said...

Birch trees are my favorite. Last year, in Maine, Ryan and I found a bit of a birch that had sort of 'shed' its bark... it was a perfect hollow, about 8 or 10 inches high. We brought it home and put a vase inside it... it looks like flowers (or berries, branches... whatever) are sprouting right from it. It's just beautiful!

Beverlydru said...

I love birch trees and have enjoyed them on visits to places like Colorado. We definitely don't have them in Florida! Lovely post.

Gal Friday said...

I learned something from this--had no idea where the word "birch" came from!
I have two twin birches in my front yard and at the base is a bed I am working on getting ready for some new plants(we recently pulled out an ugly dyng shrub and it's roots from there)and they brighten up the view.

Hazel Designs said...

Mmm, fresh mushrooms!!!! That sounds so amazingly delicious.

Hilary said...

I've always loved birch trees too. The bark is unique.

sallymandy said...

Dear Z: this is beautiful; I love everything and anything about trees, and your writing and photos made my evening. I didn't know that about the language history of the names, and that was very interesting too. Nor did I know about the connection between birch trees and mushrooms. Thank you!

Have a lovely mid-week. xo

Protege said...

=Tom,
I am so happy that I brought back a precious memory from your childhood. And Austria has beautiful nature; I must have been a lovely time with your family. Where did it all go, right?

=Reasons to be Cheerful…,
yes, they are wonderful trees and you are right about the swaying; they often d as my windows are facing wets where the strong wind often comes from.;))

=Jeanne,
I agree; picking mushroom is very special, almost like a treasure hunt. There is something magical about these trees, in fact we have a beautiful poem in Slovakia about a Birch Tree, I know some of the verses to this day.
I love sharing the views of nature with anyone who appreciates them.;)
Thank you for your always kind comments.;)

=Julie,
thank you for your always lovely words; there is nothing more beautiful than the marvel that is nature.;)

=Betsy,
yes, how extraordinary that I used the same sentence in my today’s post.;)))
I am sure your birch flowers as well, but the flowers are difficult to see or realize that they are there, as the colour is pale yellow –green and it melts with the leaves.;)

=Shelly,
thank you for your kind compliments.;) Yes, I have to admit that I have a beautiful view. Thank you, hope your Wednesday is great as well.;)
xo

=Claus,
I am almost certain yours must be a different species, as birch is really native only to colder climate. But I am sure all trees are somewhat related.;) Thank you for always find the time to stop by.;))

=Tereza,
yes, sometimes we grow apart from our friends, but maybe you will rediscover your friendship later in life.
Thank you, have a great week.;)
Mej se dobre a diki.;)) xo

=Rosezilla,
I love your comment; who doesn’t love a comfy a sofa and imagine that mine is red! I wanted to buy a green-beige, a very boring colour but a friend of mine convinced me to go red. Best thing I ever did, I love my red sofa.;))

=Holly,
ah, thank you for that lovely compliment about my view.;) I have posted this view before, but I am not sure anyone ever realized before it was a view from my windows.;) I have now pictures from different seasons so perhaps some of these days I will make a yearly collage.;))
You are so right, the whole experience with the voice is actually very funny, I too laugh at it by now.;))
Thank you so much for your comments that always warm my heart.;) xo

=Mahmud,
great observation; many artists like to paint birch trees.;) I know that you love nature and plants and I thought it would be an interesting post for you to see tress native to my climate.;))

=Diane,
I love what you did with a hollow out birch tree trunk; it is something like hat I would love to see.;) Great idea, it would fit so well into my airy Scandinavian home.;))

=Beverlydru,
you know Florida is the best place I ever visited in my life and if I could choose, I would love to live there.;) You might not have birch trees, but you have palm trees and I absolutely adore those.;) Thank you for stopping by.;))

=Tina,
always happy if I can contribute with some new knowledge.;))
I guess you know first hand how beautiful birch trees are; and it will be so rewarding to plant something new in their vicinity.;) Isn’t gardening just the best?;)) xo

=Hazel,
yes, it was very delicious; I too love mushrooms.;)) And picking them yourself makes it even more exciting.;)

=Hilary,
yes, I love the bark, it is as if painted with white colour. I have grown up with birch trees and they have been around almost all my life. Thank you for always finding the time to stop, dear friend.;)

=sallymandy,
that is right; you did a post about trees a while ago, I recall it was very beautiful with many lovely pictures of different trees.;)
I am happy that you found this post inspiring and that it made you feel good; this is the wonderful thing about blogging, one never knows which post might be something of a great value to someone out there.;)
Thank you for your always kind and generous words; wishing you a great mid-week as well.;))

Jill said...

I love a birch tree...we had one at our last home and I long for it now...I must plant one here at The Glen soon...seeing your photos reminded me of how beautiful they are.

Protege said...

=Jill,
there is something wonderful about the hanging branches and the white bark.;) I hope you will get a chance to plant one soon.;))