2020, News

June Zoom – Beech

It was a delightfully intimate group this week, only 7 of us, with 3 of the faithful tribe, Brook, Toby and Ryan. We missed Rachelle and Sue.

Ryan presented us with an immediate quandary. He had boiled rosemary and found it had a physical reaction of bubbling. Mell and Rachel were mystified. To make a rosemary infusion, we said no boiling necessary, but still that did not explain why it had such a reaction. Ryan suggested the pH may be a clue, and that we should do a control in just water, one with rosemary just added to boiling water and one after the boil.  Ah – something for another zoom, a bit of litmus and science. Perhaps in a white coat (Mell always wanted a white coat). Leon and Ryan had an exchange on a mutual love, the Hero’s of Olympus and Home of Hades (which sounded at first like Rosemary’s Baby). Perry Jackson – get it on Audible.

Toby displayed a hologram ruler which was pretty cool. We advised against the Imperial measurements, far too colonising and controlling, stick with metric, we said.

Brook showed us what looked like Pixie poo  but later we fond out it was fishy so Mermaid poo, which at one point became so heavy Book sank below the screen, and all that remained was the inside of the boat she lived in.

Somehow we all got into changing backgrounds, with Leon, Ryan and Toby playing snap on the background from the Golden Gate Bridge to solar system. Brook and Meg thought their computers too old to do this fandangle thing, and thankfully we returned to earth, and BEECH.


KFS Beech


What’s the difference between Beech and Beach? One has sand and the other has an a.Spot on.

Starting with the name.
Beech in German means book, for  beech wood replaced velum or skin as a material to write on. It was smooth and hard.
Latin Fagus means EAT, and indeed you can eat the beech nuts. Pliny the Elder (look him up!) noted  in Natural History, it was beechnut that saved the people of Chios from starvation when the town was besieged. They need to be roasted, not eaten raw.
Another use is for building, for example making Log Cabins. Some furniture is made of Beech, and it can be bent like Ash.
Finally Beech wood is used in the making of Budweiser Beer – it’s put into the barrels to give flavour.

The beech fruit – a triangular seed encased in a Pixie hat, is either called a Beech nuts or Beech Masts. It is after this word, Mast, that the expression comes: it was a Mast year, a year of plenty, a bumper year.

Finally LOCATION. Beeches are very community minded, and like nothing more than being planted together, to correspond and support with each other. There are some magnificent beech woodlands, and one I went to last winter was in Epping Forest, just outside London, where there are extraordinary shapes of POLLARDED beeches, beeches that are cut at Rachel’s head height (5ft) above the grazing reach of a deer.
Another famous Beech wood is the one in the well known TV series,  Game of Throwns, which none of us had seen and as Ryan pointed out, was not for children owing to the adult content. The Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The trees form an atmospheric tunnel that has been used as a location Game of Thrones. Here are the photographs.

Throwns Beech

Beached Flora

Meanwhile we went in search of Flora  – and we found her in a most frustrated mood as she could not find the beach or sea. She was splendidly attired for a swim, with speedo swimming hat and eccentric swim wear, under the shade of an umbrella, and as it happens under the leafy shade of a BEECH tree. Ah she said, spelling was never my forte, so I’m here under a Beech and not on the Beach. To compensate for this disappointment  we practiced some swimming strokes, the earth breast stroke, and the rapid front crawl, not forgetting to breath.

We ended up by the ponds to see the newly created floating duck home, for the duck that spread its wings and flew. Near by were some HORNBEAM, which looked a bit like beech, but were different, and this is tree we will study more next week.

Back at camp, we met Megan, who’d done some beautiful Beech Art, using the elephant skin grey of the beech wood to frame a design of beech leaves and nuts, in the centre an auspicious double beech mast nut. This bodes well and will give us good vibes for cleaning the forest to get ready for opening again.

KFS Beech-2KFS Beech-3

It was a short zoom today as we had much preparation to do in the woods, for potentially opening up. Leon rocked up and we sanded and oiled our kitchen, while Meg and Mell took down our old tarp to put up next week.

While we were clearing up we took a peak at the nest. When we saw it was empty we looked inside. Such a small opening, and lined with feathers, pheasant and other. What a work of art.

Zooming nest










This would give us the pH, PH stands for Potential of Hydrogen. It refers to the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. It is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The PH value ranges from 0 to 14 on a pH scale

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