Jelly-like ears cluster on trees,
livening up dying lower branches.
The latest fashion, you might think.
Beech, sycamore, ash – they all wear them,
but elder sports the most.
Legend has it
that for elder, the ears represent Judas’s tormented soul.
But perhaps the hardwood simply delights
in listening to the varied sounds of its woodland home
and so wished to collect more of them;
those reddish-brown kidney beans,
with their translucent undersides wrinkled into veins,
clinging to bark like folded ribbon.
When the frosts arrive, they freeze solid,
becoming sugared sweeties in an elaborate window display.
Then, as they thaw, their cells jump into action
and off they go:
growing, growing, as if the pause button
had never been hit.
Sharing is also much appreciated, as I’m trying to raise as much awareness of our local wildlife as possible. The more people who appreciate nature, the more likely it can be successfully protected.