topic: mother trees /

Akaisha’s Hearth

This is a rough plan of the ‘rootearth’ of Akaisha’s mother tree; one of many in the Grove of the Ochre koppie. The circle at the centre is the trunk from which roots radiate. The outermost circle shows the extent of Akaisha’s rootearth. Uphill, between the roots, lie the hollows in which the members of her hearth sleep. Running down from the trunk is the major hollow, framed by two immense roots upon which the […]

Mother Trees

Mother Trees are a species of cedar. I took the second photograph, of a beautiful example located in the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens, one summer. I spent much time lying under it, looking up through its branches at the sky. Tragically, it was damaged in a storm and had to be cut down. The specimen shown is a small one. On the slopes of Lebanon, famed since ancient time for these trees, some exist that […]

Plainsman Koppies

A “koppie” is a small volcanic extrusion emerging out of a plain. It is the name given to such structures that occur throughout Southern Africa. The Earthsky is scattered with them. It is in these natural ‘islands’, in the midst of the endless fernland of the plain, that the Plainsmen make their homes. As the location of so much of The Standing Dead, I had to take care in exploring and understanding the topography of […]

The Grove

The Grove is the collection of cedars, or mother trees,┬ácovering the slopes of the hill that rises at the centre of the Koppie. All the koppies of the Plainsmen are built around such a hill, and the grove of the Ochre is typical. The first diagram is a rough sketch showing this mound, surrounded by the Homeditch (only a few of the cedars are shown). At the very summit of the hill, at the heart […]

The Hearth

This is a rough sketch of the ‘rootearth’ of Akaisha’s mother tree; one of many in the Grove of the Ochre koppie. The circle at the centre is the trunk from which roots radiate. The outermost circle shows the extent of Akaisha’s rootearth. Uphill, between the roots, lie the hollows in which the members of her hearth sleep. Running down from the trunk is the major hollow, framed by two immense roots upon which the […]

The Koppie

The first sketch shows, roughly, what you would see if you were standing on the edge of the Outditch. The inner ferngardens lead to the Homeditch, that is like a moat for the hill that rises to the Crag. It is upon this hill that the Grove of mother trees grow, cedars that are sacred to the Plainsmen. Some of these trees are shown. There should be enough to cover the whole hill. The other […]