Home Ian Morton Ian Morton Ian Morton is a journalist with a particular fascination for the natural world, and a regular contributor to Country Life. Follow Ian Morton An English Elder tree near Clifden. County Galway, Connemara. Credit: Alamy Stock Photo The history of the elder tree: From deities and dryads to Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling Does our love of a tall glass of elderflower cordial speak of an ancient connection with the tree itself, wonders Ian Morton. Credit: Alamy Curious Questions: One for sorrow, two for joy – but why are we so superstitious about magpies? Superstitions swirl around all manner of different birds, but never more so than with magpies. We take a look at why.