Sunday 5 November 2017

Steve's Nature Quiz #23

In last week's #CreteNature blog we found a beautiful ivy hedgerow buzzing with life. Ivy has been associated with the Winter solstice since pagan times but in Germany they traditionally tie it to the outside of a church. Is this to protect it against

a) the devil

b) lightning

c) witches

Somewhat surprisingly the answer is lightning. Why this should be is a matter of speculation; perhaps someone observed that ivy covered trees did not get struck by lightning so often as bare trees? A similar thought was held by the druids who believed that Ivy's Christmas counterpart, Holly, if self seeded near a dwelling, would protect the inhabitants from fire, nightmares and, once again, lightning.

More seasonal nature notes and other trivia in this week's #CreteNature blog: The Springs of Paraspori

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