Cottonwood Spirits, Capitol Reef, Utah

by | Everyday Life in the Nature Realms

Fremont Cottonwood

The nature surrounding the Gifford Homestead, Capitol Reef, Utah is spectacular, from towering red canyon walls to richly varied nature spirit images in centuries-old trees. The entryway to the Homestead has been modernized but the old trees are still there.

Long View of Gifford Tree













Gentle Tree Images

Some sections of the Mormon religion are polygamous, which means multiple wives per husband. Thus there were usually more women and children on the Homestead then adult men. So it is not hard to understand why the feminine energy is found in many of the tree images.

The Mormon tradition is also a gentle one and that softness of human interaction with animal and nature energies is prevalent.

Above left is one of my favorite tree studies. It shows a large gentle deer in a Freeman Cottonwood Tree. This is the center tree in the landscape image above right.

Close Up of Images

In this close up of this trunk, which I’ve diagrammed, you can see several feminine images and also a number of smaller gentle animals.

Cottonwood Diagram

Cottonwood Close Up




















In the three large cottonwoods I explored during my visit, I found numerous spirit sculptures. These are forms created by the tree or local nature spirits. They describe various situations or beings. While these are energies the tree or an external nature spirit is exploring, these energies are not the tree spirit. (As, for instance, the dryad we posted about yesterday, which is the spirit of the tree itself.) This sculptor has a liking for ornate line and all the images are exceptionally “frilly” in their details.

Man Dog Lady in Cottonwood

Dog in Cottonwood






















Billboard size Pixie

In the cottonwood with the thick wooden heart, which I showed you a few days ago (see below right), the burl on the left holds the image of a very very large Pixie. Pixie are fun loving beings who love a gentle joke. That atmosphere of happy play is seen throughout this area.

heart in old cottonwood tree at Mormon Gifford House, UT

Large Pixie


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