Favourites Trees

Members tell us about their favourite trees on Mull

Fishing, Oak Tree and Me

by Nick Evans

Mull native Oak
Isle of Mull native Oak

Leaning the bike against an old dyke, a quick change into waders, rod in hand, full of anticipation, I drop into another world. Hidden, quiet, no modern day stimulants. The dell where the oak sits is almost in a time capsule. Huge boughs, thirty feet long; majestic, not massive, because of the ground and weather.

The oak is a sessile. I pause to take stock. Late spring….leaves are on the way. Soft wind makes a soughing sound in the tree’s crown and the oak’s boughs gently sway, almost in time to music. Leaves from last winter are turned over, leisurely lifted and dropped. The old tree seems to say, “Hello you, back again?” Looking up, a contrail is dissipating strings of white, obscured on and off by the oak’s movement. Shafts of sunlight play games on the woodland floor and the buzzing of flies is loud.

The trunk and boughs are full of living: ferns hard and soft, mosses, birds flit about. A buzzard mews above. I say to the tree, “Well done, another winter survived.” A great tit gives me his angry chatter. I am in his territory. The blackbird …… TCK, TCK,TCK…. telling me off for invading. I step over one of the branches and under another. The scent of undergrowth and grass, and something else ……. the tang of brine, for the sea is very close. Deep, deep breathing to enjoy the sweet smell of a new growing year, hopeful that some fish may well grace the bank with their presence!

My journey from bike to fish is short but memorable. The tree gets a wee pat as I continue on. I am sure it wishes me good luck.

I leave, dropping down a small gully, under a younger, but still old, oak.