Everywhere I go these days I see the trees laden with red berries: Rowan trees.
I have a series of beautiful little books called Flower Fairies, and I want to share a pretty poem:
“They thought me, once, a magic tree
Of wondrous lucky charm,
And at the door they planted me
To keep the house from harm.
They have no fear of witchcraft now,
Yet here I am today;
I’ve hung my berries from the bough,
And merrily I say:
“Come, all you blackbirds, bring your wives,
Your sons and daughters too,
The finest banquet of your lives
Is here prepared for you”"
And this a pretty card available at Not on the High Street.com, mentions the names and uses of the Rowan tree.
As for me: I’m Irish, and as such a true believer in fairies, so I will tell my children the story of the Rowan tree as the protector against evil. Red is the best colour to protect against enchantment and each berry has its leaves arranged as a pentagram opposite the stalk.
But I also enjoy the Greek myth of Hebe, the goddess of youth, who lost her magical chalice. The gods sent an eagle to retrieve it. Upon his return he was attacked by demons and shed feathers and blood which fell to the earth and created the Rowan tree, whose leaves are the shape of eagle feathers and whose berries are like drops of blood!
Myths and legends aside, we live in the mountains: hence the hardy Rowan trees abound. So let all the birds have their fill, as winter here is long and hard.