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100615-woodpecker-05

Juvenile great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

In May and June there have been plenty of baby birds in the garden and I have been trying to capture them. Mostly I have been disappointed. My pictures are rubbish, really. But I felt I wanted to share them just to prove the variety of species we have breeding in our backyard.

The first spot of the year was Continue Reading »

040615-lactuca-01

Bumble bee (possibly Bombus hypnorum) on wall lettuce (Lactuca muralis), June 2015

Thanks to Lucy Corrander’s street plants project I am making more of an effort to notice and identify the weedy plants I pass on the pavement every day.

Now at last I think I can name a couple more of the dandelion-like yellow-flowered plants that Continue Reading »

080515-davidia-03

Davidia involucrata in Bute Park, Cardiff, May 8, 2015

These three trees crept up on me during my wanderings in May. In each case I had been looking for something else, or not looking at all, when I turned my head slightly and there they were in all their green and white glory. None of them are native trees. Two of them were in Bute Park and one on the street…

First up is a species I know, although Continue Reading »

040615-valerian-03a

Pink valerian (Centranthus ruber) growing on a street wall in Cardiff last week

There is red valerian in flower everywhere in Cardiff at the moment, growing from walls and flat roofs where it wasn’t planted. I always notice this stout plant, as it was one of the first I could put a name to. It grew on the lean-to shed outside the back door of the cottage where I lived as a child. I don’t remember Continue Reading »

210515-empress-17

Fresh leaves on the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) in Bute Park, Cardiff, on May 21, 2015

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It’s already June in the tree-following year and it’s all change for the beautiful empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa, also known as the foxglove tree) in Bute park Arboretum in the middle of Cardiff.

I have visited a couple of times this month to take part in Lucy Corrander’s monthly tree-following meme on Loose and Leafy.

After enthusing so much about the tree’s beautiful purple flowers last month, I knew it couldn’t last, but I wasn’t sure how much the blooms would overlap with the expected new leaves. So I left it a couple of weeks and went back on May 21. Continue Reading »

210515-buteflowers-06

A busy bee in the herbaceous borders of Bute Park, Cardiff, on May 21

I am now being swamped by the flowers bursting out of the herbaceous borders of Bute Park in Cardiff, so I’d better give another update before they get totally out of control. When I reported on April and early May it was all tulips and a few other splashes of colour, but now Continue Reading »

240415-hornbeam-05

These lovely leaves are so familiar to me…

Twice now I have chosen a tree to follow for a year, but even before that I had decided I really must try to identify more species, especially when the trees are bare in winter. At last I think I am getting somewhere.

This spring when I have visited Bute Park in Cardiff to check on my empress tree (a Paulownia tomentosa) I have also watched dozens of other trees come into leaf. There is one I thought I recognised from a distance, as Continue Reading »

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