A typical modern paisley design

One of my minor “hobbies” is paisley spotting. The distinctive design has never really gone away, but it does have its moments and I think one of them is right now.

I say this because as I walked along Cardiff’s main shopping street yesterday I spotted five examples of paisley-patterned clothing – one of them a dress on sale in a boutique window. And there was one more on the bus, another in a random magazine advert last weekend and another in a TV drama I was catching up with last night. Continue Reading »

Porthcawl rock


Yellow lichen and broken red rock on the wall of Porthcawl Pier

This time last year I took lots of pictures of Porthcawl on the Glamorgan coast, one of my favourite places, but somehow I never got around to “processing” the photographs and blogging about them. Now I have put together many Porthcawl pictures into a gallery or two, but I decided to pick out in particular the images of lichen and rock on the pier. 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.

Mystery of the bent trees


Trunks that veer into a right angle found across the US could be secret Native American trail markers, according to MailOnline…

Mass planting tries to reverse ‘tree cemetery’ of the Monaro


A huge area of eucalyptus has been killed in New South Wales, but planting is going on to replace them with new habitat, according to Australia’s ABC…

Continue Reading »


Sunshine through oak leaves, July 2016


It’s the height of summer and the pedunculate oak (Quercus Robur) in the middle of Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, is looking remarkably healthy for such an old tree.

Mostly it is one mass of leathery green leaves, so I had to inspect it closely for some time before I found anything to report.

I was eventually pleased to spot a few interesting details as well as taking pictures of the usual “general views”.
Continue Reading »


Avenue of horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff


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.

It’s a mixed picture in Cardiff – most trees are at peak summer green-ness and starting to look scruffy, some with disease, others because the leaves have been ripped to shreds by rain and brisk winds.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some more northern trees followed by our friends in Scandinavia are only just flowering.

But here many trees, both native and exotic, are at the fruit/nut/seed stage. Continue Reading »


Yarrow or milfoil (Achillea millefolium) in the office car park, June 2016

For a few months now I have been working three days a week in an unprepossessing low-rise office on a small industrial estate in Newport, South East Wales, about 10 miles down the road from Cardiff.

I don’t go out much, as the weather has been wet and there isn’t a lot to see apart from corner shops, but the other day I found myself wandering around the car park in the sunshine, while on my mobile phone to someone. And I suddenly realised that the scruffy edges of the car park are full of wonderful wild flowers. Continue Reading »


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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