Spring is in the air – already…
It’s that time again – for tree followers to get together for a monthly exchange of news. If you are new to tree following, you can find out all about it here.
In the northern hemisphere this is a great time to start a year of tree following, as “Now is the Sun come up from the south, With Oak, and Ash, and Thorn” – that’s from Kipling’s A Tree Song, by the way.
Here in Cardiff the hours of daylight are lengthening and a sunny sky makes all the difference after months of rain. There are even early signs of spring – the white flower pictured above is perhaps a member of the cherry (Prunus) family? I have also seen magnolias coming into bloom.
It may still be deep winter where you live – or mid summer if you are in the southern hemisphere. Whatever the conditions, I wonder what your tree is doing? Please click on the widget below and share your link with us. Remember the link box closes at 7am on February 14.
Posted in Trees | Tagged Trees | 25 Comments »
This is a bit of a change from my usual blog posts, but I have noticed a lot of news stories about trees lately, so I thought I would share some of them with you. These include a few environmental tragedies, but also some happier articles. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.
Bush fires devastate ancient landscape
The Guardian reports that catastrophic bush fires, caused by lightning, have destroyed a huge area of ancient woodland in Tasmania. The world heritage site was home to a range of unique alpine flora including pencil pines, king billy pines and cushion plants, some more than 1,000 years old…
Vote for the European Tree of the Year
You can vote for the European Tree of the Year 2016 until the end of the month. At the moment the Eastern European trees are way ahead – a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest! The candidate pictured above is a pine growing through the middle of an oak in Spain…
Continue Reading »
Posted in Nature, Trees, Uncategorized | Tagged Trees | 16 Comments »
Feral pigeons in a tree in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff – sorry the middle one looks like it’s headless!
I think I have found my tree to follow for 2016. Or, as happened in previous years, it has found me. In the last few weeks I have visited Thompson’s Park, not far from my home in Cardiff, several times.
There are many trees in the park – a variety of conifers and some big, bare old trees I managed to identify, even without name labels. Continue Reading »
Posted in Cardiff, Nature, Trees, Uncategorized | Tagged Cardiff, thompson's park, Trees | 19 Comments »
Jelly-like fungi on a rotting tree stump in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff
This year I will probably follow a tree in a small Cardiff park I hardly know – Thompson’s Park. But my latest search for a tree worthy of regular bulletins was overtaken by my wonder at all the fungi I saw on a damp afternoon walk there.
Thompson’s Park is one of Cardiff’s oldest, having opened to the public in 1891. I will no doubt share some general views in another post, but this time I am just excited by the fungi growing on the very old and decaying trees. Three of the species I saw were on one tall stump. Continue Reading »
Posted in Cardiff, Nature, Trees, Uncategorized | Tagged fungi, Nature, Trees | 19 Comments »
Zinnia elegans in the gardens of Tredegar House in late September, 2015
You know how it is – you go to so many places in September that you suddenly find it’s January and there are autumn visits you haven’t had time to blog about yet. So I apologise that this post isn’t topical – although it is at least colourful during these dark, wet days of midwinter.
Tredegar House in Newport, south-east Wales, was taken over by the National Trust in March, 2012. Most of the red-brick house dates from the late 17th century but I will write a separate post about the house itself. This time I want to feature the plants in bloom in the gardens in September. Continue Reading »
Posted in Garden visits, Gardening, Gwent, Uncategorized, Wales | Tagged Gardening, Gwent | 16 Comments »
Ginkgo Avenue, Bute Park, Cardiff
I was toying with the idea of following a Ginkgo biloba or maidenhair tree this year, but I have been unable to find a single one close at hand that I can visit every month. What I have found is a whole avenue of Ginkgo trees in Cardiff’s Bute Park. So rather than single out just one to follow every month I am going to visit the avenue less often, to see how it changes in the four seasons. Continue Reading »
Posted in Cardiff, Nature, Trees | Tagged Bute, Cardiff, Trees | 40 Comments »
Face to face with William Smith – a bust of the man by Joseph Brogden Baker of Scarborough and a portrait painted in 1837 by Hughes Forau
Have you heard of William “Strata” Smith? Well I hadn’t until 2001, when I read a review in a weekend magazine and bought Simon Winchester’s book about him, called The Map that Changed the World. He has been one of my heroes ever since. Continue Reading »
Posted in Science, Uncategorized | Tagged geology, science | 14 Comments »