Fecund Willows

Quy Fen is endowed with lovely willows, soft billowy trees whose flickering grey-green leaves bring a touch of olive-like Mediterranean light to the dour Fens.  Studies have shown that in England willows are home to 266 insect species, second only to the oak (284) and far ahead of fir (16) and holly (6).  Robert Macfarlane pays homage to the mystery of the willow in The Lost Words: ‘Willow, when the wind blows so your branches billow, / O will you whisper while we listen so we learn what / words your long leaves loosen? / …’.

Photo: Willow, Quy Fen, Cambs, May 2018

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