The topic for the photo group I belong to this weekend is another great one, old trees. Trees feature a lot in some of my novels, Camel Wood, my imaginary ancient forest, is full of very old trees, some going back two and three hundred years when the wood was a very different place and used for different purposes. As an ancient wood, however the actual area is much older, and in my fictional world maybe part of the ancient great wood which covered much of the land.
Old trees make me think of Ents, Tolkien’s marvellous creation in his fantasy Middle earth. Ents were tree shepherds, giant, slow-moving beings who protected the trees from danger including the malevolent orcs; they were wise and slow, the females were entwives and their ofspring entlings. The word ‘ent’ by the way comes from Anglo-Saxon, meaning giant. Ents were mortal, and unless they were killed, they would eventually become so slow during old age that they would cease moving altogether and gradually develop roots and leaves as their consciousness vanished and they became one with the tree.
No doubt there were many places which Tolkien came across in his travels and his research, but if you ever visit Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland, you will be taken straight into Middle Earth!