Monday, February 27

Bois-des-Esprits or Spirit Trees

While I was walking last spring on the south side of Winnipeg, I came upon a beautiful neighbourhood in St. Vital with its own forest, the Seine River Greenway Forest.  It was a delightful day with leaves all over the path, children actually playing in the forest, small groups of people enjoying a walk.  I happened upon another woman walking by herself and we began a conversation.  She asked me if I had seen the spirit trees of the forest as of yet, to which I replied no.  She walk me deeper into the woods and there it was, the Bois-des-Esprits.    

Stunning multiple faces and animals.
Carved on both sides.

The same tree.
The other side.

This woman and I talked for a while as she gave me more advice of a few different places to visit in the city.  We parted ways and I continued walking out of the forest I spied several more faces that I had completely walked by, not realizing they had been staring at me and others along the path.  The faces were stunning, carved right into the trees, rough slices, with long whisky beards.      

Old tree
Old face
This was the last tree as I left the forest.  I took one picture, stared at the tree for a while, then realized that this was not simply a face.

Old tree
Old face
With a bit of extra

A view from below so I could capture the face's friend.

Sadly, someone committed an act of vandalism this past June and lit the largest of the trees on fire.  One wonders what pushes someone to light something so stunning on fire.  Sign of discontent.  This tree provided me with much content.  I hope people continue to enjoy it despite a part of it now being charred.  I shall continue to walk, talk with random strangers, and enjoy the outdoors.  I am thinking the Winnipeg Trails Association will help.  Love walking!


  1. This is my neck of the woods! I love this trail and it is amazing how many old faces are on that path...10 is my record...became a game of finding them...took awhile to even see them, but then one day I saw one and then two..then three...a real treat of Winnipeg:) it has been awhile since I was there. Thanks for reminding me of its beauty and mystery!

  2. Ok Tonia. I expect you to do a little carving on our trees at Chisholm and the trees at Shuswap. I want my trees to have faces like these trees.