I have always especially loved nature folklore. It provides such a beautiful glimpse into how people use signs from nature as a way to navigate daily life. It reveals how attuned people used to be to the natural world and the ebb and flow of the seasons. Spotting certain animals or birds came to be associated with good or bad fortune; plants and flowers were used as cures; and stories of fantastical creatures, such as fairies and elves, were told to account for unexplained events.
No plants feature so often in folklore, in so many places, as fig trees. There’s a biological basis to many of these stories.
One could write an encyclopaedia on the appearances of birds in folklore and their association with death and mortality, travelling from Japan to Scandinavia, France and beyond.
The birch has a particularly graceful, flowing habit that always reminds me of a stream of water, extending right to the tips of its delicate black twigs in a shower of leafy droplets that tremble, suspended, in their fall.
When we stand beneath a tree and gaze up into its branches, perhaps running our fingers
over the textured bark and admiring the rich collage of mosses and lichens