The Forest Breathes...

Dear Tree,
Let me tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
You purify the air we breathe, provide shelter, sustenance, wood, food and warmth.  There are many reasons why we should all love trees, not least for their amazing beauty and dignity.


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

Poem by David Wagoner

Photography: Christopher Tait
These magnificent beech trees were planted over 200 years ago to impress visitors to Gracehill House,  Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, at that time home of the Stuart family.  Known as the Dark Hedges, it is one of the country's most photographed natural phenomena and made even more famous recently when featured in the Game of Thrones television series.

World-renowned photographer Jim Zuckerman comments:

"One of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever seen is this country lane in Northern Ireland. It's called Dark Hedges, and I include it in my photo tour to Ireland. All of the people in my groups get amazing pictures here. The serpentine trees form a tunnel that is spectacular at any time of the day, but I find it particularly intriguing and mysterious just before dark".

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