Just listen to that tree!

As you wander down the hill to Fountains Abbey, and arrive at West Green, you’ll spot a tree, a sweet chestnut tree with – how odd! – a girdle of headphones hanging from its branches.

This information board explains all: these headphones enable you to listen in, via highly sensitive microphones, to the hidden sounds of the tree.

Truly – it’s astonishing, mesmerising. Just as our blood courses round our body, day in, day out, so water and air courses constantly through the tree. Through headphones, it sounds something like the tinkling of a mountain stream as it tumbles over pebbles. And behind it, as your ears adjust, there’s a low, more intermittent soft rumbling sound. This is the tree moving. Saturday was a still day, but we could hear that rumbling as we listened closely. On a windy day, I wonder what we’d have heard?

This next photo is the last I took, and the last one of all for April, so one for Brian Bushboy’s Last on the Card

During May, I’m taking a break. I probably won’t even have a chance to read the posts of those of you I follow. When I get the chance though, I’ll try to send a virtual postcard or two.

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

41 thoughts on “Just listen to that tree!”

  1. Enjoy your break, Margaret. I hope you’re relaxing and doing things that you love to do. Your experience of listening to the tree is fabulous! I love this idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How utterly fascinating. I picked up on the word xylem as I have only just come across it. On my walk in the Surrey Hills / Devil’s Punchbowl I came across a Xylem bench, created by Walter Bailey, inspired by photomicrographs of charcoal revealing hidden vessels called xylem that run through plants and trees bringing water and nutrients.

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  3. Ah, this is amazing! I’m a lover of being in the woods and forest bathing and this next level. Must look up if there is anything like this down my way. Enjoy your break, happy travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you’ll have a wonderful May and look forward to catching up later. We saw/heard this at one of the flower shows a few years ago. Truly amazing. Amazing too how much water, for example, a mature oak tree takes from the ground each day. I can’t imagine how they get that much.


  5. I know! The whole thing is quite astonishing. Thanks for the good wishes: we’ve had fraught moments already, without even starting!


  6. Oh what a fascinating idea and also a new direct contact with our natural world through sound. Marvellous. Hope you enjoy your break away from the blogging world.


  7. What an interesting idea, the sounds of nature are often so soothing. Although I never thought of listening to a tree. Hope you’ll enjoy your break!


  8. How fascinating – the thought of how vital trees are really opens up a new field of awareness.
    I hope you have wonderful travels and a great break.


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