The prologue of the tree

Castanheiros na Mata da Margaraça (Serra do Açor, Arganil)

Mr. Walter Windrush, the eminent and eccentric painter and poet, lived in London and had a curious tree in his back-garden. This alone would not have provoked the preposterous events narrated here. Many persons, without the excuse of being poets, have planted peculiar vegetables in their back-gardens. The two curious facts about this curiosity were, first that he thought it quite remarkable enough to bring crowds from the ends of the earth to look at it; and, second, that if or when the crowds did come to look at it, he would not let them look.

To begin with, he had not planted it at all. Oddly enough, it looked very much as if he had tried to plant it and failed; or possibly tried to pull it up again, and failed again. Cold classical critics said they could understand the pulling up better than the putting in. For it was a grotesque object; a nondescript thing looking stunted or pollarded in the manner recalling Burnham Beeches,
but not easily classifiable as vegetation. It was so squat in the trunk that the boughs seemed to spring out of the roots and the roots out of the boughs. The roots also rose clear of the ground, so that light showed through them as through branches, the earth being washed away by a natural spring just behind. But the girth of the whole was very large; and the thing looked rather like a polyp or cuttle-fish radiating in all directions. Sometimes it looked as if some huge hand out of heaven, like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, had tried to haul the tree out of the earth by the hair of its head.

G.K.Chesterton, Four faultless felons (Dover, 1989)

3 comentários :

Luz disse...

Realmente impressionante!
São castanheiros...foram "podados" como as faias inglesas?
Desculpem a ignorancia, mas sou só Educadora... Comecei a visitar o vosso blogue porque a fotografia é realmente fantástica e era uma boa ferramenta para trabalhar com as crianças. Acabei viciada pelo vosso blogue, mas muitas
das vossas "postagens" passam-me "ao lado". Como já estou a perder a vergonha, começo a fazer perguntas...
Mas não são obrigados a responder...

Paulo Araújo disse...

Ora essa, respondemos com gosto. Sim, esse castanheiro da foto da direita recebeu o mesmo "tratamento" que as faias de Burnham Beeches; na Margarça há mais castanheiros assim, mas a maioria deles nunca foi podada.

Os ingleses chamam "pollarding" a este tipo de poda; suponho que em Portugal se chamava "talhadia". Não era feita para embelezar as árvores, mas para aproveitar a madeira, e não é coisa que se deva fazer a árvores ornamentais. O castanheiro da Margaraça parece já não ser "talhado" há muitos anos.

Gi disse...

Até na Noruega encontrei "podas" deste género.