Birch Tree Abstract, Banff NP, Canada by Maarten Venter

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The Silver Birch Tree is one of the most sacred trees in Celtic Mythology symbolizing new beginnings, protection, stability and structure. It is very significant in this time of uncertainty and instability.

The small forest of Birch trees were captured in Banff National Park during a road trip through the Canadian Rockies. It was already towards the end of winter and the trees have already shed all their leaves. Their bright white bark was contrasting beautifuuly against a backdrop of evergreen Jack pines.

I used Intentional Camera Movement to blur the image, by holding the camera firmly to my chest and bowwing to the trees. As it was a cloudy day, it did not illuminate the trees as much as I would have liked.

In hind site this was quite a symbolic gesture of respect to these beautiful ancient trees.

As one of the pioneer trees after the ice age, Birch trees are a significant specie and a subject of poetry and many local traditions. It was hung around doors of dwellings in hopes to bring good luck and guard against evil and misfortune. The branches and twigs were used as brooms to sweep away evil spirits and and bring in the new year with goodness.

As many of us are in lockdown and unable to travel my hopes are that the symbolism of this tree will signal a new beginning and a rebirth of nature and bring with it harmony and balance to the place we call home.


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