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Friday, 9 March 2018

Burrs

There aren’t any branches or leaves. All that remains is a knotted mass of burrs on what is left of a tree. It has long since shed its youthful beauty. Unlike any other gnarled tree we have ever seen in our treks on Prince Edward Island, this one is covered in burrs. Usually there are one or two burrs. 




This tree tests imagination.




One can only imagine the stress this tree endured. Was it from fungi, bacteria, viruses, insect activity, animal activity, weather, human damage or a combination of any of these factors? Even the twigs are affected.




This tree makes me wonder how stress affects our bodies.




What are our burrs? Are they loss of sleep, lines on the face, gray hair, weight gain or loss? Are they even more insidious such as damage to blood vessels and heart from high blood pressure due to stress hormones? We each handle stress in our own way but there is potential for body damage. Unlike the burrs on this tree, most of us don’t show the stress as readily. 

Or do we?


46 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That tree looks like how I'm feeling this morning!

DJan said...

Interesting question. And that poor tree is certainly suffering! I also wonder what causes such damage.

Rhodesia said...

Wow there really are a lot of burrs (burls) on those trees, I have never seen so many!! Keep well Diane

Barbara said...

Wow. I've never seen anything like that. Can any type of tree get a burr? Ill have to research that.

Anvilcloud said...

Just like Barb, above, I've never seen anything like this.

Mage said...

That tree frightens me.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I've never seen so many burrs on a single tree. I've heard them described as being like an oyster's pearls. And they can be valuable too; walnut burr is especially sought after to make the attractive veneer that expensive cars have on their dashboards and interiors.

Joanne Noragon said...

We called those burls. I've seen fabulous wood carvings from them; the grain is so swirled.

William Kendall said...

A strange looking tree.

Celia said...

That tree is like a sculpture, sort of a monument to endurance.

bill burke said...

I never seen a tree like this before.

Andrea said...

Poor tree! Andrea

Elephant's Child said...

Wow. That poor, poor tree.
And yes, I suspect many of us carry similar burrs. Perhaps better hidden, but no less numerous.

Jenn said...

Poor tree. I have never been good at hiding my emotions or mental state lol, if I am stressed you'll likely know. I have burrs under my eyes lol.

Ginnie said...

OMG! I have never seen a tree like that in my life, Marie! You have made of it a great metaphor and have asked pertinent questions. My immediate answer was "all of the above." But now I must add something, for which I will let you carry the metaphor on in your own way: look at all those incredibly gorgeous, artistic burr-bowls just waiting to be lathed!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh my gosh! That poor tree. According to Google it's stress or insect infestation that causes burrs. You almost wish someone would put the poor thing out of it's misery and chop it down.

Tabor said...

What an amazing tree. Those burrs are not like burls, are they? Because wood-workers like those.

Angela said...

That indeed brings up thoughts. It's similar in our bodies, cancer seems to do something just like that in the tree. I agree with a previous comment and wish nature would take it out of it's misery.

Marie Smith said...

Lol. There are days I feel like that too, Debra.

Marie Smith said...

A variety of factors cause such damage, including, viruses or insects, Jan.

Marie Smith said...

Me either, Diane.

Marie Smith said...

From what I’ve read, any tree can develop burrs, Barbara.

Marie Smith said...

It’s a first for me too, AC.

Marie Smith said...

It belongs in a horror film, Mage. But then again, it is a testament to survival under extreme stress.

Marie Smith said...

Burrs are sought for woodworking. This tree may be past usefulness, John.

Marie Smith said...

The wood is valuable, Joanne. It may be too late for this tree.

Marie Smith said...

Indeed, William.

Marie Smith said...

I agree, Celia. Survival in the face of adversity.

Marie Smith said...

It is unique, Bill.

Marie Smith said...

That was my first thought too, Andrea.

Marie Smith said...

I wonder if the trees senses the attacks which cause it to respond in such a way, EC.

Marie Smith said...

I have a few burrs there too, Jenn.

Marie Smith said...

Surviving the stress would make us stronger, Ginnie.

Marie Smith said...

The tree is dead now, PDP. I imagine it will soon to the forest floor.

Marie Smith said...

Burrs and burls are the same thing, TBor.

Marie Smith said...

These burrs are sought by woodworkers, Angela, though I suspect this tree is dead.

Catarina said...

I have never seen a tree like that. Your island is full of surprises. As for stress... they call it the killer disease. I wonder what word did people use before Hans Seyle defined stress in 1936. How did they explain the feeling we caLl stress. Preoccupation? Nervousness? I am going to look into it. Now I am curious. People were living at a slower pace... We should attempt that on a daily basis. :)

Debbie said...

so interesting and awesome examples through pictures!!!

Kay said...

It's so true that stress can be a silent killer. However, I've seen some beautiful sculptures and bowls made from those burrs.

The Happy Whisk said...

People show their stresses all the time.
And they even smell of it at other times.
Love the tree. Love, trees. LOVE THEM!

jenny_o said...

A great analogy, Marie. I've seen burrs/burls on trees before but never to such an extent. And thank you for using the word burr instead - it made me look it up and apparently we use the American version (burl) instead of the British, which is unusual in NS! hah

Marie Smith said...

Slowing down would help today, Catarina. Being available all of the time, via cell phone, doesn’t help us at all.

Marie Smith said...

Thanks, Debbie.

Marie Smith said...

I’ve seen a few too, Kay. Gorgeous.

Marie Smith said...

Love them too, HW, in all their seasonal beauty.

Marie Smith said...

I’m more inclined to use the British, though not for everything.