Vintage: I was thinking of clothing or cars until I read an article by William Gibson and he referred to vintage science fiction – I realised I had some on my shelves. These covers from Fantastic in 1959 and 1977 showed how little changed until comparatively recently – both covers depict attractive women as victims of alien terror… Click on the picture to read the William Gibson interview in the Guardian

Last month I signed up for the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt hosted by Eileen on her A Bracelet of Days blog. Here’s her introduction to the hunt. Continue Reading »

The twigs on the right belong to my latest subject for tree following, in Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay


Well here we are again – a new year and a need to find a new tree to follow in 2020. I think I decided a couple of months ago, despite the fact that I am breaking all my own “rules” and once more going for a group of trees rather than a magnificent solo tree (I had such good intentions when I first followed a tree in 2014 – here)…

I have been interested in these trees in Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay, since I noticed the fruits for the first time in autumn and managed to identify the species – Turkish hazel or Turkish filbert (Corylus colurna).

Clearly it’s not native here but this public space seems to be full of them. They have interesting catkins in spring and nuts in autumn so I am looking forward to taking more notice of these street tree specimens throughout 2020. Continue Reading »

Bare white tree trunks near the Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay in January


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month.

As we begin 2020 here in South Wales the weather continues to be changeable, sometimes cold and dry and at other times milder and wetter. The hours of daylight do seem to be getting slightly longer, although only by a few minutes a day.

You will find everyone’s updates below, so enjoy exploring…

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – quince – they sleep

Erika Groth in Sweden – a new tree to follow (maybe)

Flighty’s Plot – Liz’s white oak in Lexington, Kentucky, and Mike’s plum tree

Hollis – In the Company of Plants and Rocks – maybe a maple at the University of Wyoming

Pat – Squirrelbasket – Cardiff, Wales – new year, new species

Andrew – Kind Hearts and Corydalis – Oliver the oak

JayP – Amblings around Penwith (Cornwall) – a flowering dogwood – or two

Frances at Island Threads, off the North West coast of Scotland – possibly a poplar

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here.

Thanks so much to everyone who contributed throughout 2019. Why not join us in 2020? You could start looking for a tree to observe at any time of year, but between now and spring is usually a good time.

Just point us to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box published on the 7th of each month and lasting for a week. Although we all try to publish every month, we are very forgiving if you post less often.

See you next month…

Here is my final round-up of tree news articles from around the world in 2019. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Frankincense trees are being tapped out

The National Geographic reports on a threat to supplies of fragrant Frankincense resin in Somaliland…

Appeal supports tree eco-therapy

As part of Trees for Life’s Rewild and Recover programme, refugees as well as people coping with poor mental health or homelessness can plant native saplings, helping the charity to rewild 10,000 acres of the Highlands. This is one of the charities supported by a Guardian appeal…

Continue Reading »

I stood here: The sculpture ‘People Like Us’ by John Clinch in Mermaid Quay represents the people of Tiger Bay in the days when this was a thriving port – when I stood here I didn’t notice I had framed the Norwegian Church in the background

I have absolutely no imagination, so to try to kick-start my thinking I have decided to join in with the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt hosted by Eileen on her A Bracelet of Days blog. Here’s her introduction to the hunt. Continue Reading »

One of the cards I sent out this year, from the RSPB – Moon Gazing Hare by Judith Yates – I’m not sure why hares have become Christmas symbols…

After a hectic 2019 at work – and a year dogged by my husband’s ill health, from meningitis to his imminent hip replacement (we hope), it’s time to sit back and admire all the Christmas cards we have received. Here are just a few of the designs that caught my eye. As usual, click on the image to go to the source – mostly charities. Continue Reading »

The London plane of Mermaid Quay in December


As the year comes to its end I have to say goodbye to the London plane tree (Platanus × hispanica or Platanus × acerifolia) in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, that I have followed through the months of 2019.

I include some pictures from earlier in the year in this post, after my December observations.

The last month has been cold or wet or windy and sometimes all three, and we have had one or two overnight frosts and a couple of foggy starts to the day. I caught a crisp, sunny spell on my visit to take the latest pictures. Continue Reading »