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esmeralda-disney

I could have been an Esmeralda – this is Disney’s interpretation in The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996

Forgive me for being self-indulgent, but I am going to write occasional blog posts about the people or things without which I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

First of all, I found out only in recent years that I was named after somebody. Continue Reading »

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Peony in Bute Park, Cardiff, June 2016

These days I have trouble noticing anything but trees when I walk in Cardiff’s many parks. But I made a special effort to think about the flowers when passing through the herbaceous borders in Bute Park a couple of weeks ago. I followed the borders quite closely last summer (see my flower posts here), but now it’s a little bit “been there, done that”.

This time I snapped pictures of big ball-like flowers, skipping everything else. Although sadly my subjects – peonies and poppies – are dying off now it’s midsummer. Continue Reading »

Here is another selection of tree news articles from around the world. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

‘It smells so bad you can taste it’

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Grey-headed flying foxes are making life a misery in an Australian tourist town, so their trees may be chopped down, says the Guardian…

Why Oakmont waged a war on trees

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the Pennsylvania country club has felled 7,500 trees since it last hosted the US Open golf tournament…

Continue Reading »

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Oak (Quercus robur) in Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park, May 24, 2016

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As I expected, the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, has now lost its fresh spring green colours and the leaves are dark and leathery. But the transformation has happened in just a fortnight, between my two visits this month.

Now that the tree has settled down for the “boring bit” of the year (in my humble opinion), I also looked under and around the tree to see what I could find.

Continue Reading »

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New leaf of alder (Alnus glutinosa)

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Here we are again with the monthly shout-out to all tree followers. If you are new to tree following, read all about it here.

The June tree-following link box is now closed, but at the bottom of this post you will find links to all the wonderful contributions we received this month…

Here in Wales we have had quite a bit of sunshine but there have been strong north-easterly breezes for weeks now, which add a chill to the air early and late in the day. We usually have damp, warm south-westerly winds, coming in off the Atlantic. I wonder what the weather has been like in your part of the world? Continue Reading »

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Male blackbird (Turdus merula)

Over the years you hear sounds in the garden that tell you it’s a certain season. And sometimes it takes you years to work out what makes these sounds. This was the case with the squeaking of the cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) in summer, which I wrote about here.

Another sound, which I can hear as I write this, is the thin, plaintive, high-pitched squealing/shrieking/wailing of the baby bird season. I have had trouble describing it, but I have seen some people online give it a name – and that name is “Tseeep”. It could also be “Tseeeeep” or even “Tseeeeeeep”, as it is quite drawn out and mournful. Continue Reading »

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Swamp cypress in January

This year I intend to bore you all silly with conifers! I aim to identify as many species as I can and have been spending the winter making observations, at a time when most other trees lose their leaves and evergreen conifers are obvious in the landscape. Having said that, I am starting with a conifer that also loses its leaves (apparently not called “needles” in this case).

I never knew deciduous conifers existed – apart from the larch (Larix decidua) – until last November, when I first observed this swamp cypress (Taxodium distichum) close to the red footbridge in Cardiff’s Bute Park. Continue Reading »

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