Mainly due to the side-effects of my Bowel Cancer Chemotherapy, I've found it difficult to keep up with my posts.
Hopefully I'm back on track and you will find today's post about the Ash Moon (February 18th - March 17th) of interest...
In the Norse Eddas(Poems), Yggdrasil, the World Tree, was an Ash.
The Ash is only one of the olive family (apart from privet) that's native to Britain; it’s a common sight in most of Europe.
Ash was/is a useful timber and much is grown for coppicing; as a result, we don’t often see fully grown trees with a single trunk
Odin's spear was apparently made from the branch of an Ash tree, which is also known by the Celtic name Nion, pronounced knee-un.
During the year...
Ash is an easy tree to recognise, even in Winter when its long, feathery leaves have fallen. Bunches of single, brown winged seeds known as samara or ash keys, still cling below the branches and don’t fall until Spring.
Take a closer look and you'll see large buds of purest black along the sides and tips of the twigs.
During the Summer months, the Ash has compound leaves up to 25cm long (10in).
The leaves are made up of…
between four and six pairs of slightly serrated leaflets,
evenly spaced leaflets along the central stem, with a single one at the top end.
The black buds, I mentioned earlier and seen so clearly in winter, break into flowers in late April, before the leaves arrive.
The flowers consist of small tufts of greenish and purple fronds, male, female or both from year to year - all stamens and pistils, with no petals, and are very attractive to the spring pollinating insects.
Eventually the flower bases will eventually swell and ripen into the ash keys, carried from late summer and blown away to propagate the following spring.
This is one of three trees sacred to the Druids...
…and this is a good month to do magic that focuses on the inner self.
Ash trees are associated with...
prophetic dreams and
...and can be used for making magical (and mundane) tools.
These tools are said to be more productive than tools made from other woods.
Used by Mankind…
In times gone by, when wood was more in demand, Ash was a mainstay of bows and spears, later in wheel axles, carriages and wagons, gates and in endless types of agricultural tools.
Ash timber is still a valuable commodity, being dense and strong making it quite hard to cut but also hard to break.
Plates, bowls etc., made from Ash can be polished to a high shine.
When Ash is young it’s springy and flexible, growing quickly.
Coppiced wood (known as Ground Ash) can be harvested every ten years - Ash poles are always in great demand.
Ash wood still makes the best oars – a piece of timber large enough to make a good-sized oar would take about twenty years to grow.
Historically, Ash samara or ash keys placed in a child’s cradle, are said to protect the child from being taken away.
The main use for ash timber nowadays is for fuel as it makes wonderful logs for burning, lasting a long time and giving virtually no smoke or spitting, even when burned green.
An added plus is that the grey ash left behind, after burning is a fine source of potash for gardeners.
The Latin species ‘Fraxinus’ name actually means ‘firelight’.
Did you expect this?
Morgan Sports cars - Because of its great strength, lightness and elasticity, Ash was, and is, used to build the framework of the beautiful British Morgan sports cars.
An American review for the all new Morgan Aero8 back in 2000 says ....
“The body panels are also aluminium, but they are still mounted on an ash frame - kiln-dried Belgian ash - the way Morgan's have been built for decades.’
NOTE: Any photographs and/or images used in My Posts are taken/drawn & coloured by yours truly.
I hope you enjoy the information within the posts and the images I’ve included