The Quaker farmers in the Brandywine Valley, PA have always had a peaceful, respectful and loving relationship with the land they work. Here is an old Springhouse, dating back at least into the early 1800s, now sitting in the woods over a small spring and beside a gentle creek. This is where, in summers, the farmers would milk the cows and immediately store the containers in the stone and wood building.
There are many images of protective tree spirits in this area. One of the most complex is an ancient tree that still stands behind the springhouse.
This tall old tree now has a decided lean to it but it is still at work!
On the front side there is a duck’s head with a very large bird spirit above and, on the right, a collection of protected “chicks” in a nest who also look like human heads….
On the back side there is a large burl. From the side the burl looks like a bear’s head – a symbol of protection.
Bear, Dog and Quaker Farmer
Straight on, there are a series of images inside each other. First there is a large bear’s face (protection), inside that a dog’s face (faithfulness) and inside that a man’s head with the long hair the men used to favor, being happily and faithfully protected by nature.