"To dwellers in a wood almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature. At the passing of the breeze the fir-trees sob and moan no less distinctly than they rock; the holly whistles as it battles with itself; the ash hisses amid its quiverings; the beech rustles while its flat boughs rise and fall. And winter, which modifies the note of such trees as shed their leaves, does not destroy its individuality"
Under the Greenwood Tree: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School is a novel by Thomas Hardy, published anonymously in 1872.
Below is an excerpt from an online Guardian article - 'Why we should celebrate winter woodland – not just the Christmas tree' -
The wind makes music in the woods, but the tune changes with the seasons. This week, I have been listening intently to the wind stripping the last leaves off the trees in Court Wood. In Thomas Hardy’s The Woodlanders, Giles Winterborne could distinguish different species of tree at a distance, simply from “the quality of the wind’s murmur through a bough”. It is a lovely thought – that a man’s intimacy with these living things can be so sensuous. It speaks of a former epoch, when the forest figured primarily in the lives of the majority of European people, a time when our relationship with trees was at a more sensitive pitch.