The Burt Lancaster Tree.

Updated: May 18, 2019

The slender shard on the right is the tree's only attachment to its roots.

There is a grumpy, gnarly old hawthorn (can you tell why I like it?) up in the hedge near the field with the highland cattle. It has stood strong, alone, against the wind (obvious by now why I like it?) all the time that I have been here. Its blossom never comes out as fully as the other trees, due to its exposed position, and it is covered in a lichen that gives it a grisly, hairy look, perhaps not endearing it too much to other onlookers. It is one of my favourite trees here though, perhaps only behind The Sentinel and the swing oak.


But is is now blossoming nonetheless!

Anyhow, a couple of months ago I thought it had finally succumbed to the wind. Walking up in the field after the gales of March I noticed it had blown over and its trunk had split, as per the picture above, only 10% or so still with any attachment to the ground, and its roots. Farewell! I sadly wished it.


Well, it is even hardier and more gnarly that I imagined! I have just been up to pay it a visit and saw that, despite its very slender attachment to its roots, it is now in blossom. Not like the other trees, but in blossom nonetheless. It reminded me of Burt Lancaster or Kirk Douglas in Tough Guys – it doesn’t care about fitting in (Next thing I know it’ll be taking down The Gold Coast Flier). I respect and am proud of that tree. I’m not a tree hugger but you know I did feel like it! I gave it a sort of pat – it is not the kind of tree to tolerate a hug anyway!


By the way, did you know that in Serbian and Croatian folklore the stake used to kill a vampire should be made from Hawthorn. Why not in Bosnian and Macedonian folklore too? What do they use? Such a divided region!

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The Granary

Manor Bottom

Manor Road

Old Wroxall

Isle of Wight

PO38 3DH

01983 641511

07307176272

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