Weekly Photo Challenge – Home

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This oak tree grows in a very old woodland beside my home. The wood is home to a family of old gnarled oak trees some of which date back to the 14th century. The woodland pasture is thought to have been a royal hunting forest in the 12th century, so the trees origins are even older. The roots of these trees have been at home in the earth of Midlothian for a very long time, and they have formed symbiotic relationships with many different types of fungus. The fungi help the oak and the oak helps the fungi, just like a family. The undisturbed soil and roots have merged to form a stable and nourishing base for the huge trunk and canopy of each tree.

The canopy, bark and leaves are also home to a vast array of families of insects, birds and mammals. In Dalkeith Park my local oak woodland pasture is home to rare and endangered saproxylic beetles and rare lichen, which are all indicators of ancient woodland. These species have been calling these old oaks home for millennia. In fact oak trees support the most complex and diverse eco system of any known tree, in Britain at least. Sitting beneath these trees always fills me with a deep sense of timelessness, stillness and a sense of belonging. To be in a place for a long time time is to be-long, and to grow a sense of home. Over time we can grow roots into the earth which help to anchor and nourish us, and we can grow fresh leaves as we reach creatively towards the light.

The oak leaf itself is the symbol of my beautifully wooded home county of Midlothian, in Scotland. For me all of this makes the oak tree a perfect symbol of home, of nourishment, of shelter and of continuity.

To see more takes on home, or to join in the wordpress challenge click the link.

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home with my husband, my son and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and run the Maggies Highlands Cancer Centre, in Inverness, Scotland.
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37 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge – Home

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Home… | The Blog Farm

  2. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I wonder how many people have looked up at that wonderful tree, and how many more will do!

  3. Lynne Ayers says:

    Amazing to think of the roots so far into the past.

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  6. Love the tree, and the history it stands for.

  7. Lovely blog entry for this week’s challenge.

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  9. Trish says:

    Beautiful… I love oak trees.
    Trees really do give a home to so much life, including us I am sure many thousands of years ago. I’ve always wanted a tree house… imagine!

    • Oh yes….I did have a tree house when I was little, but it was in a pear tree not a magnificent oak πŸ™‚ they are fabulous trees to climb, and then just sit and rest in. I always imagine I might be in Robin Hoods band when I’m up there πŸ™‚

  10. Well put, the interelationship between living things, and the unsung fungii that drives our planet along…. At Kew gardens there’s a fabulous tribute to the root system of trees – a gorgeous mosaic symbolises its life form. The wholeness of the living entities which we take for granted. A wonderful post – πŸ™‚

    • Thank you πŸ™‚ I have always been fascinated with roots and fungi, hidden in the dark earth, the powerhouse of life. That mosaic in Kew sounds amazing….and you have just inspired me to try and get some good fungus shots this year πŸ™‚

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  12. ladyfi says:

    That is a magnificent tree!

  13. β™‘eM says:

    There’s nothing like a sturdy oak for many a creature to call home. Beautiful.

  14. Anna Marie says:

    Your image makes this tree look magical – or maybe it really is magical?

    • Thank you Anna Marie, I suspect there might be a little magic in this tree πŸ™‚ I end up taking lots of photos of trees, as I find them wonderful and fascinating, but this one and I have a long connection πŸ™‚

  15. woven decor says:

    I love this. When I was little there was an old oak tree at the end of our driveway. I used to lay under it and watch the clouds float by. Trees have always had a special place in my heart.

    • Ah….cloud watching from beneath an oak tree……now that sounds perfect. You were a lucky little girl πŸ™‚ there is something very special about trees which have stood in the same place for a long time. As though they have soaked up wisdom along with all they have seen pass by

  16. Great post about one of my favourite trees – the oak. Not only because they grow – and age – beautifully but also because of how you describe them here. They are many in the southern part of Sweden, and the landscape Blekinge has the oak tree as their special tree. I really enjoyed this post!

    • I didn’t know that Sweden had oak forests too. One of the things I love about blogging is all the interesting things I learn about other places πŸ™‚ I’m surrounded by oaks, and I think they are amazing trees, full of majesty and life, and loving them is yet another thing we have in common πŸ™‚ I’m beginning to think we must be related πŸ™‚

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  19. A lovely and informative essay.

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