Just listen to that tree!

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, National Trust, North Yorkshire

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.

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.

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  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!

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  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.

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

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  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.

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  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!

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  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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