Beech Side Table

beech side table

    side table
  • A table placed at the side of a room or apart from the main table

  • Any table built with the intention of displaying only one side. Side table normally have one unfinished side that is meant to be placed against a wall or another piece of furniture. They are often semi-circular or rectangular in shape.

  • Small accent table used for display, which is usually placed either against a wall or aside from the principal table. (See table)

  • Any table designed to stand against a wall.

  • A large tree with smooth gray bark, glossy leaves, and hard, pale, fine-grained timber. Its fruit, the beechnut, is an important food for numerous wild birds and mammals

  • any of several large deciduous trees with rounded spreading crowns and smooth grey bark and small sweet edible triangular nuts enclosed in burs; north temperate regions

  • Beech (Fagus) is a genus of ten species of deciduous trees in the family Fagaceae, native to temperate Europe, Asia and North America.

  • wood of any of various beech trees; used for flooring and containers and plywood and tool handles

Beeches and Bluebells

Beeches and Bluebells

Badbury Clump, near Faringdon, Oxfordshire.


The Great Goblin War

I have long been fascinated by the morphological characteristics of the various races of hominids; so much so, my dear boy, that when you arrived on my doorstep at Samhain all those months ago, and I discovered that you had pointy ears, my most urgent task was to determine the number of chambers in your heart. There were three, little Alias, whereas men like Agrimony and myself possess four. Four is such a prosaic number; but a heart with two ventricles and one auricle is a wondrous thing indeed. Its beating has that sophistication which a waltz possesses, and which the average bawdy song so sadly lacks. You share this honour with numerous other creatures: the hydras, the dragons – and, of course, the elder hominid races: the High Elves, the Gnomes, and even, so I have heard, the Dwarfs. Three is really the minimum practicable number in a hominid, unless one unwisely includes the Goblins, those horrid, merciless, treacherous travesties of humanity, whose hearts (if you can call them that) are nothing but a knot of black muscle which spasmodically squelches blood about the body, and makes no effort whatsoever to separate the fresh blood from the spent. The result is that the blood of Goblins is as black as the ink of the Kraken, and far smellier. I should know, for in darker days than these, I have had occasion to observe it running thick and fast.

It is evident that the freshness of the blood is a great virtue, for in Goblins, where it is foul at birth and grows the fouler with age, it addles the brain and incapacitates all powers of reason. If a good man were to pursue his goodness with the single-mindedness and devotion with which a Goblin pursues evil, his life would indeed be spotless and pure; the lives of Goblins, by contrast, are dark, grim and grotesque. It is a well established fact, too, that two Goblins are not merely twice as evil as one – for they have not lost their powers of inventiveness, nor have they abandoned the obvious advantages gained by co-operation. The atrociousness of their deeds increases exponentially as a group becomes a gaggle, and a gaggle a conglomerate, and a conglomerate a fully-fledged organisation (for Goblins, you should know, are not averse to bureaucracy). When Goblins form an alliance, misery is never far off; if ever it should happen that they gain the resources to form an army, one must have no reasonable justification for expecting anything but a reign of terror lasting a thousand years.

And yet, when all is said and done, the worst thing about Goblins is that they have, as I have already demonstrated, an uncanny ability to cover all that corruption and vice with a thin smear of whitewash, and thereby to seem all sweetness and light. You will have noted already my remark that the Goblin who endeavoured to steal my Hydra (and his purposes in doing so shall soon become evident), had, judging from his most excellent cravat, all the external makings of a man of true panache. The Goblins’ veneer of respectability is so very near to being flawless that they have become specialists in the art of beguilement, inspiring the admiration and even the loyalty of the innocent until, once they have earned unqualified trust, the veneer quite literally cracks open, and all at once their true identity is revealed. I have been told that the Goblins of other countries are not like this; they are quite content to be perfectly horrible creatures and leave it at that. But here, Goblins are so obsessed with manners that, when I see a man piling his peas on the back of his fork, or opening a door for a lady, or refusing to enter a room before somebody else - I instantly become suspicious. The gratuitous display of unnecessary airs and graces, the sonorous musicality of a genteel South-Eastern accent, the wearing of spatterdashes, cravats and bowler hats: all of these have become cause for alarm. Anyone behaving thus will, upon being introduced to me, be subjected to a simple taxonomic test. I will smell them.

For that is the one flaw in the average Goblin’s disguise. No Goblin can hide the fact that he stinks like fermented bat’s bile, as Agrimony so picturesquely puts it (Goblin skin is also bright green, of course, but as a morphological character that is not quite so decisive). So the average yokel is in fact relatively safe from Goblin beguilement; one whiff and the game is up, so to speak. Difficulties only really arise when the intended victim lacks a sense of smell, and that, I am sorry to say, was the problem with Prince Eugene, son and sole-surviving heir of Leartus, King of the East, who, as you may remember, lost his daughter Catriona in a most regrettable incident in the forests beyond the Bluebell Wood. Rumour has it that Eugene’s sense of smell had abandoned him when, as a little boy, he had been kidnapped by Orcs and forcefed on six-week old

Ponthus' Beech

Ponthus' Beech

Explored 19/06/2011

This is a very special photo to me. Trees inspire me much respect, especially old and venerable ones: they witnessed the past, and will probably see a far future, unlike me.

This particular tree is a legend by himself. He even has a name: Ponthus' beech. He lives in the Broceliande forest, in Bretagne (France), the one where many Arthurian legends occurred. One can also find Merlin's tomb here (well, at least one of them...). Different stories exist, but a common one is that Ponthus, a knight of the round table, lived in a castle there, somewhere around the 10th century. He was disappointed by the fact he had no child, and blasphemed about it. God punished him by destroying his castle in a storm, and the tree grew on its ruins.

While this tree is well known (he illustrates several photography books' covers), finding it is quite hard. Technically, he is located in a private part of the forest, theoretically forbidden to walkers. This is probably why very few information is available about his location. A long documentary research gave me several possibilities, which I entered as coordinates in a GPS device.

I then had to drive about 5h to reach the forest, and park on its side. This place is gigantic, and I met absolutely nobody. It was a fantastic experience to wander alone in these woods, exploring the locations possibilities in the hope of finding the mythical tree. I was quite lucky, and after only an hour of walk I was standing in front of it. I may be an emotional guy, but believe me, I was simply overwhelmed by the beauty of his shapes, the moss covering most of his trunk, and by the fact that he was the very only one of his kind (all the other trees in the area were straight, as you can see on the photo). I spent about 3h shooting it carefully, testing many angles, 3 different lenses, and waiting for the right light. Since the place was quite dark, I decided to use bracketing, which was extremely useful in post-processing to raise the dynamic range.

I really hope I will be able to go there many times again, and photography it at different seasons. It is quite a long day (mainly spent on the road), but it was so worth it. Did I mention I love this tree? :-)

beech side table

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