The Greek myth of Niobe and her pride is possibly one of the best known tales of our Noble Interest. It’s also one of the saddest. My first encounter with Greek mythology came through a book called D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths when I was about six. I loved thatContinue Reading

In his book, TREES:A WOODLAND NOTEBOOK, the Right Honorable Sir Herbert Maxwell says: The name “willow” speaks to us of a time when our Anglo-Saxon forbears dwelt in wattled houses. They spoke of the tree aswelig and also as widig (whence our “withy”), the root-meaning being pliancy. Another old English nameContinue Reading

Willow has been used for pain relief since antiquity. It was recommended by Hippocrates, Galen and Dioscorides for that. The Leechbook of Bald suggests this use for it: A head bath for that (baldness); boil willow leaves in water, wash with that, ere thou sinear it, and pound the leaves soContinue Reading

Willow is not used as a food; however, it did make a major contribution to the kitchen. It is believed that the start of fired pottery began when someone who needed to boil water covered their willow basket with clay and put it over the fire. The fire got hotContinue Reading

Humanity’s association with the willow has been a long one and, for humanity at least, a profitable one. There is evidence of use of willow all the way back to Paleolithic times. It is only comparatively recently that we have tamed and cultivated it. The most recognized member of thisContinue Reading

Salix spp., S. babylonica S. viminalis S. dicolor S.matsudana I have always had willows around me wherever I’ve lived. I played under them as a child and planted them as an adult. I’ve come to love them but even I admit that while they’re beautiful, they’re hardly showy. It’s surprisingContinue Reading

Hello! I tell you- just when you think Spring might be happening, a nor’easter sneaks up on you. In spite of the three and a half feet of snow that fell, Spring marches on. A flock of red-winged blackbirds took advantage of my feeders, along with a couple of gracklesContinue Reading