Sunday, July 19, 2009


Madrona amidst the firs
Originally uploaded by wplynn
I recently spent a week in Port Townsend on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. It is a beautiful place but I find that one of the things I look forward to most are the Madrona trees. They shed their bark year round and the wood underneath is a shockingly bright red. Always grow near salt water and seem to prefer growing on stone.

In Canada and Britain the tree is called Arbutus. Paddy Graber has a wonderful song he learned in Ireland as a boy about a princess named Arbutus who is forced to remove her brown dress "but before its hem could touch the ground, she had turned into a tree." Gordon Bok does a gorgeous version of the song on his album Return To The Land.

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