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051114-bute-18

Bracket fungus on a birch tree, Bute Park, November 2014

I struggled for a theme for this collection of autumn images taken on my recent visits to Bute Park and Llandaff Fields in Cardiff, but most of them are vaguely fruity – berries, fungi, lichen etc.

First up is some bracket fungus on a skinny birch-tree trunk. If it is birch, then I guess it must be Piptoporus betulinus, the birch polypore. There were a few of them on the same tree. (more…)

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Leaves of London plane in Bute Park, Cardiff, November 5, 2014

This post was going to be about maples, but my head is tied up in knots trying to identify the many species of which I have taken pictures, so that will have to wait for another day. Instead, this will be about what we in Britain call the plane and the sycamore. (more…)

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Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff, in November

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I visited the hornbeam I am following twice this month, as I thought there would be a lot of autumnal activity and I didn’t want to miss anything. The first time was on October 20, a grey day just before the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo hit Britain, and the second time was on November 5 – a rare sunny day in a very wet week.

Just a reminder that this tree-following lark is a great project organised by Loose & Leafy, so thanks again to Lucy Corrander for that. (more…)

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The Railway pub in Christchurch

My husband isn’t usually very adventurous on holiday, but the last time we were staying in Poole, Dorset, he asked what was beyond Bournemouth on the railway. What if we stayed on the train?

I checked, and the next big place is Christchurch, so I Googled it and found that the very next day there was a free lunchtime concert by a chamber choir at Christchurch Priory. I like to have a reason for going somewhere, it gives the trip focus. (more…)

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Cauldron cake by The Cake Store – click on any of the images in this blog post to find the sources

As it’s Halloween, I thought I would take a look at the witch’s cauldron in history and myth. It turns out that as well as being an ancient household cooking vessel and a witch’s potion pot, the cauldron has been a mystical symbol of life and, in some stories, an instrument of death…

(more…)

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The Royal Mint at Llantrisant, here in Wales, has struck a special Alderney £5 coin to commemorate the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth – click on the image to find out more

This year sees the centenary of the birth of wonderful Welsh writer Dylan Thomas and celebrations have been going on throughout 2014. But today, October 27, is his birthday. He was born in Swansea just after the outbreak of World War I.

Much has been written (more…)

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Scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea) in Cardiff bus station, October 2010…

Sorry to disappoint you if you thought this was going to be about the famous Sean Connery film in which he portrays a Russian submarine commander with a splendid Scottish accent…

No, this is just a post about the lack of red leaves in nature this autumn, compared to previous years. For example, look at those leaves at the top of this post. Here is the same tree this year…

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Scarlet oak in October 2014


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