The Firewood Poem
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut’s only good they say,
If for logs ’tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold
Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mold,
E’en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and old
keep away the winter’s cold
But ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.
A woodland walk
I walked through ancient paths,
where hidden mysteries lay
beneath our feet
and a choir of birds sing out loud,
with jewels dancing in the air.
Scrunching feet walk along
the twisting paths which
zigzag their way through
tall giants. Giants who
stand next to us.
While stepping on the
bones of the past,
sweet smells turn orange to red.
The giants form a roof with windows.
Sheltering the emerald flowers that
dapple the green carpet.
Spider webs shimmer like silver silk
as they whisper their secrets.
I walked those ancient paths.
A Woodland Walk
I took a walk today,
where the trees like giants,
held up the sky.
The breeze tickled the leaves
Many people have walked
on these ancient paths,
Discovering hidden secrets,
Foxes hiding in the shadows,
birds calling from the tree tops.
I took a walk today
and passed a trickling stream,
Where leaves crunched underfoot.
Water ran over boulders,
as it tumbled down the bank.
In the dappled shade,
jewel like light hits the ground.
Flies hang in the air, dancing.
What a wonderful walk!
Wild Sorrel in the irish woodland
From the Middle of April until the Summer many of Irelands wood-land floors come to life with lots of different plants, Wild Sorrel is one if these that can be fully enjoyed. It can be picked and eaten on your walk or collected and taken home for you fridge.
The leafs of this plant can add to any meal that you are preparing. I love the moment when I first see wild sorrel coming out, its the start of the woodlands bursting into life after a long cold winter.
This web page has a great discription… http://www.wildflowersofireland.net/plant_detail.php?id_flower=243
“Carpeting old, undisturbed woodlands in spring, this pretty downy perennial also grows on moss-covered trees and shady walls and is widespread throughout the country. Each pretty white five-petalled bell-shaped flower (10 – 15 mm) is held solitarily on a stem which comes directly from the roots. The petals are lined with a tracery of pink veins through to the golden centre of the flower. The leaves are trifoliate, each leaflet heart-shaped and these fold up towards late afternoon or in rain as do the fragile flowers. They have a sharp taste of oxalic acid. This flower blooms from April to June, is a native plant and belongs to the family Oxalidaceae.
Also known as Wood Shamrock and Wood Sour, the leaves of this plant were used to make an ointment by early herbalists. Some people eat these leaves in salads or soups but beware, as large doses may cause oxalate poisoning. “
Trees, herbs, and plants are very important to Druids. They represent their sacred alphabet, they are used for healing, and many Druids name themselves after trees. Trees are the connection between the realms. Ireland was said to be divided into four lands, each occupied by a sacred tree with a fifth tree at the center.
The five most important trees are the oak, rowan, birch, apple, and yew:
The oak is connected with strength, protection, and stability. Some say that the very word Druid derives from duir, the old word for oak.
The rowan is useful for protection, youth, and prophecy.
The birch is symbolic of beginnings, renewal, regeneration, and cleansing. It is also associated with the bard.
The apple tree is the tree of life and is said to reside at the center of the otherworld.
The yew is associated with death and decay because it is very poisonous, but this unique evergreen tree also lives for thousands of years. It is related to the ovate and is frequently found near sacred wells.
Other trees, such as the ash, willow, and hawthorn also frequently appear in mythology and legend.
Foremost among the herbs and plants most revered by Druids is mistletoe. Mistletoe is a parasite frequently found growing on oaks. It is said that mistletoe, which grows off trees rather than from roots in the earth, must never be allowed to touch the earth. It is sometimes called all-heal, but it is poisonous, so use it with caution. Verbena, or vervain, is gathered at Midsummer, whereas mistletoe is gathered at Midwinter. It is used as an offering to the gods. It is also considered a cure-all and is said to ward against evil spirits.
HERB ROBERT, GERANIUM ROBERTIANUM
This herb has been used in medicine for centuries, although in the 20th century, particularly in Portugal it was hailed as a folk cancer remedy when the powdered leaves were taken with a raw, fresh egg yolk. Of course this has not been proven to work. Dioscorides described it and it was known to the old herbalists, who used it mainly for blood problems, as the stalks and leaves turn bright red in autumn, a sign to these old herbalists that it was good for the blood.
This plant is known by around a hundred names some of which refer to other plants more often, such as bloodwort (red dock), and red robin (not ragged robin) and cranesbill, which is native to the US and poisonous. However Stinking Bob is a name given to this herb which is unique to it, and refers to the smell given off by its bruised leaves. It is also called the Fox Geranium, some say because of its “foxy” smell after rain. It is native to hedgerows and woodland in Europe the British isles included, and to temperate Asia as it grows as far east as Japan and in the Himalayan regions.
No one really knows how it became Herb Robert, although there are several contenders for being its namesake, including Robert Duke of Normandy, who died in 1134, St Robert of Molesme, a French monk who died in 1110, and Robin Goodfellow or Puck, the mischievous elf who has a role in Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The Latin name Robertianum might be a corruption of ruber meaning red, rather than referring to any specific Robert, Robin or Rupert, names that seemed to have been linked to this plant.
The leaves of Herb Robert are the main part of the plant used for medicinal purposes and an infusion of these has been drunk and used as a wash for the skin, and for inflammation of the eyes. A poultice of the leaves has been used to relieve hardened breasts, to increase lactation in nursing mothers, to relieve irritated skin and the pain of rheumatism and reduce bruising, as well as being applied to herpes sores and ulcers. The infusion can also be used for the same external purposes.