The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener! This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers


1 January 2017

The Eagle has Landed...

                                                                                                               Pear Tree Cottage!!

Probably the world's heaviest thunderbird!

          This is the story of Chris's rescued totem pole. 

Fixing the wings

Once upon a time there was a fallen oak tree which Chris decided to carve into a 20 foot traditional native totem pole. Over a period of 2 years and whenever he had any spare time, he worked away sculpting a thunderbird, an owl, a bear and a wolf to name but some of the animals.  Sadly, during a recent storm, a huge beech tree fell across the totem pole which was lying flat on a couple of trestles. The impact smashed through the totem pole and all his hard work.  Chris was able to rescue two of the animals - the thunderbird and an owl and (very luckily for us) brought them here where they were cleaned up with wire brushes and coated them with creosote.  

The Owl
In the Pacific Northwest, traditional totem poles were carved out of pine - an altogether much easier, softer and lighter wood. These are solid English oak and weigh an absolute ton! Having attached the thunderbird's wings - I could just about lift a single wing, it needed manhandling down to the compost heap and then lifting up and over the bays and securing at the back. This proved a monumental task and not made any easier as the creosote didn't have any time to dry in the damp wintery weather. Even Chris was not daunted by such a prospect and ploughed on regardless.

Now we have the topmost section of his totem pole with its outstretched wings sitting above the compost bays like a guardian! In Algonquin and Haida mythology, the thunderbird controlled the upper world and could throw lightning by flapping its wings. It also controlled rain - hence its place at the top of totem poles. Totem poles were carved and erected to watch over tribes and families - which is fine by me!!

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