Monday, February 29, 2016

The Hawthorn Tree

ABC Wednesday
March 2nd, 2016

The letter is H for Hawthorn

The Hawthorn Queen
It was one of those last swarms,
a blood-red immolation of ladybirds
so thick
the air appeared pixellated.
Traffic stopped.
My mother grasped my hand, and together
we picked a path across hot tannac
decorated with applique wing-cases.
They buckled like molten plastic, stuck
to the bottom of our sandals -
molted chitin, black gravel.
I looked up and saw tears on my mother's chin.
Quaking she led me past the stationary cars,
their engines overheated.  All the time
more dazed ladybirds
gathered in her golden hair
as if she guaranteed safe passage
or could halt the insect blizzard.
Looking up, I saw a Hawthorn Queen,
her crown alive with crawling berries.
Jane McKie
Hawthorn trees are a delight to have, - we had a small. young one in the garden on the hill
They are a lovely shape with clusters of pink or white flowers that bloom in spring
and in the fall there are bright red berries which attract the songbirds.

Medicinally the Hawthorn is amazing.
The dried fruits are used in nateuropathic and Chinese medicine, mainly
as a digestive, but the Hawthorn also is believed to strengthen
cardiovascular function.

It is a mild sedative in promoting sleep and
a help in improving exercise tolerance, blood pressure and heart
rate during exercise.

The wood is very hard and has been used extensively in make tool handles and fence posts.

The beautiful Hawthorn is also important in folklore.
A symbol of hope, it was carried by the ancient Greeks in
wedding procession and there is also a supposition
that the tree was the source of Jesus's crown of thorns.

In Celtic lore the hawthorn was said to heal the broken heart
and is strongly associated with the fairies

For more interesting Hs visit here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger and Denise
and all Hearty Helpers.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Hildred - such very beautiful photographs and words. How I long to see our hawthorne bushes out - they are not even in bud yet.

photowannabe said...

I didn't know there were medicinal properties to the Hawthorne tree. Love the poem and the illustration of "crawling berries"...

ellen b. said...

Love the shape of that Hawthorne and all the history and folklore that goes with it!

Melody Steenkamp said...

Lovely post and entry for H. I love trees, they're always a bundle of life (and joy) for me

Have a nice ABC-Wednes-day / – week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

Reader Wil said...

This a poem.that I like. about a tree , which I also like.
I wish you a great spring!
Wil, ABCWTeam

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I know it's a beautiful tree; I certainly did not know about the medicinal properties. Most interesting. I could relate to the mother and daughter in the poem -- we have lived through several ladybug swarms ... in our RV a couple of times and around our homes in other times. Where one lady bug is endearing, a thousand of them are quite frightening and I would not like to have them in my golden hair (or white). (I know it is only a small part of the poem, but I was quite stuck on those words and did not properly appreciate the moving berries on the tree I am afraid!)

Roger Owen Green said...

a lovely tree!

Hildred said...

Sallie,I have never seen a lady bug swarm, - they have always seemed quite endearing with the little rhyme about 'fly away, fly away, fly away home' but I imagine such a number as you and the poet describe would be quite unnerving.....