Monday, February 2, 2015

White Birch

White Birch, otherwise known as Paper Birch or Canoe Birch, Betula papyrifera, are one of the symbols of northern Canada for me.  Their bright white papery bark against the blue sky creates a beautiful picture.  When I was about 14 I even wrote a letter back home from camp one year on birch bark.

The White Birch even features prominently in one of the great Canadian folk songs about the north, 'Land of the Silver Birch'.

It was the afternoon we arrived, and we started out on a walk along the shore, leaving the lodge behind.  The trail was packed and easy walking through the woods.  You didn't even need snowshoes.

Quite quickly we came on a large patch of birch trees, their buds in the canopy already showing slightly reddish and their trunks bright against the blue sky.

These are quite small birch, only a few inches in diameter, but native peoples made birch bark canoes from larger specimens of these trees, not from the outer curls of white 'paper', but from the lighter brown inner bark which can be taken from a tree in large sheets.  If you love canoeing, you have to love birch trees, the origin of it all.

In any case, there were simply beautiful against the sky that day, even though it was about -20°C out.

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15 comments:

  1. Reaching for the sky, beautiful, every one, and a lovely story.

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  2. Just beautiful against that blue, blue sky! I think it is so interesting how the bark peels.

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  3. Nice photos . We have one in our yard actually it has three big trunks . I did an info post like this a few months ago on the Paper birch . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  4. Gorgeous shots! That's a tree I certainly associate with the North.

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  5. Beautiful trees and I love their white branches against the bright blue sky!

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  6. Beautiful trees! I used to write letters on birch bark as well.

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  7. Gorgeous, striking silver trees against the sky. Your pictures are wonderful, and you reminded me of a time long ago when I also wrote on birch bark. :-)

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  8. How beautiful against that blue sky. Not too sure about going out in that temperature though.

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  9. These are one of my favourite trees for their beautiful white trunks. I am, however, allergic to them, apparently. We had a nice one in our yard but it as dying so we cut it down. It was so pretty and a good size too. Beautiful scenery there!

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  10. beautiful images of the beautiful tree. love 3 & 5

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  11. Birch trees, they're my favorite. They look absolutely stunning in winter. I often don't pay much attention st them in summer as there are many other trees to admire but in winter, they're my stars. Those shots are just wonderful especially the ones against the blue sky.

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  12. I adore white birch… these are beautiful photos against the bright blue sky!

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  13. Land of the Silver Birch, home of the beaver, where once the mighty moose wandered at will. Blue lake and rocky shore, I will return once more...

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