Sun 10.01.21 ~ Birch and other skins

I enter by the birch and say hello, wander down to the river where the Little Egret decoy catches my eye as usual, hanging in the bush on the far side, and as usual it makes my heart jump, a plastic bag I believe.

The poplar stump holds its audience, and I picture its old tall flamed form ghosting above it.

I decide to go and visit the large birches and think of asking for some bark, having heard the inner skin yields a red for ink or dye…and hoping I can gather some. Instead I find the bark is rugged raw, with a condition that is not unlike the scaly skin on my ravaged finger, so instead I give the trunk a gentle pat and walk on.

Now I’ve been alerted to conditions of dermal outbreak I pass a proud trunk with a showy green bustle, its broken and bulging bark patterns accommodate the most luxurious green moss and I imagine a perfect home for other life forms.

One of my favourite Glen trees skirts the council depot. Its trunk bears an ovoid scar from a long felled branch, the scar resembles a fairy tale mirror. The Snow White Tree tells me nothing about the fairest of them all and I tip my brow instead to the eye in the peacock’s feather drawn out by climbing ivy across its towering trunk .

I pass the sentinels and the shadowy figure is not so present today, I look down and find another kind of damaged skin, this time on an ivy leaf, a brown scab captured within its blooming hearts.

The thaw is here and the drops are hanging off the Swamp Cypress branches, a sugar coating still shrouds a stump, and for now the tracks of the Glen walkers – human, canine and other, are still pressed into the frosty ground

Published by @julforres

Julie Forrester, artist based in Cork City Ireland

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