Tree Hugging

During this summer I watched a TV programme about the famous photographer Bae Bien-u. He's specialised in capturing the wonderfully serene South Koran pine trees. You can see in his pictures that he started out as a painter. Many of his pictures focus on the Gyeongju Historic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

I share his passion for pine trees, but I not sure he, like me, is a keen collector of pinecones. I have picked gigantic cones on Malta and Madeira and in Armenia among other places. The medium sized can be found everywhere in Sweden, but I'm very fond of the ones from trees at the coast especially in the national park Stångehuvud outside Lysekil. Just the other day I also found some really small ones too, at the beach at Särö Västerskog.

From Madeira 2010
A couple of months ago I stumbled across a great collection of large cones in Överåsparken, a public park in Gothenburg. Since I didn't have a bag, I folded my blouse and put them there. I walked slowly down the path and then the road to a small fish shop at the Sankt Sigfrid square. They were closing, but kindly provided me with a plastic bag to put my find in.

The large cones my mother put up in every door opening at Christmas perhaps triggered my interest in pinecones. So do I now, using the same kind of red silk ribbons. I also know there were pine trees across the street where I lived as a child, where the squirrels lived until a house was built there.

From Tällberg 2016
Pine trees have a special place in South Korean tradition and mythology. It is considered to represent Korean spirit and is mentioned in South Korean national anthem. Apparently the Korean name for pine tree, Sonamu, literally means “chief tree,” or top-level tree. I can see why.

No comments: