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The top of the Lombardy poplar in Victoria Park against cold clouds

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It has been a cold week with some light snow and sleet but I think I chose the best day, on Wednesday, to visit the tree I am following this year. It’s a Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park.

On a sunny morning I set off in my new padded jacket, which kept me very snug as snow flurried in the icy air.

Here are my snaps – mostly concentrating on the bark of the tree before my attention is taken later in the year by leafiness, I hope. Continue Reading »

A tall street tree – probably birch?

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It’s that time again for the monthly tree-following link box, which will stay open for your tree-related links until 7pm GMT on February 14.

Here in Cardiff the days grow slightly longer but “as the days lengthen the cold strengthens”. We have had lots of rain this month, some pleasant days and a smattering of snow for one day only. The temperatures are forecast to be around freezing all this next week.

At some point I must force myself to walk to visit the Lombardy poplar tree I am monitoring in Victoria Park, not too far from home.

It was wonderful in January to welcome some new tree followers and hopefully our regulars will also have something to report despite the coronavirus lockdown. Any tree-related post is acceptable from contributors old and new.

Point to the post you would like to share, using the link box below. And please don’t forget to leave a comment.

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

Something yellow: When I had to visit the local pharmacy I popped into the Co-op shop opposite and bought a bunch of Free Trade long-stemmed yellow roses for £10 – they lasted for nearly three weeks, with the leaves remaining green and the blooms slowly shrivelling gracefully…

I have signed up again for the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt hosted by Eileen at A Bracelet of Days – details here. I missed the December link-up as life was so hectic with Christmas and my husband’s long-awaited hip replacement operation, but hope to find something for every category by the end of March, despite hardly leaving the house as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Continue Reading »

One of the very few flowers in Victoria Park, Cardiff, during these pandemic days

Here are some of the snapshots I took on a recent visit to Victoria Park – it makes you realise what hard work the Parks department usually do to bring colour with seasonal bedding plants. The flower beds are almost bare this year… Continue Reading »

Snow on my bare sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) this morning

In the South Wales Valleys to the north it often snows but here in Cardiff it is such a rarity that I always get over-excited – even if today it was just an overnight sprinkling of less than an inch.

We last had proper snow here when the Beast from the East hit us as February turned to March in 2018. That lasted just a few days but still caused chaos and time off work. Today’s snow was just decorative and soon gone… Continue Reading »

Part of the new tree I am following – recognise it?

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It’s a new year and like many of you I have chosen a different tree to follow after a reasonably successful 2020 with the Persian ironwood in my own back garden.

Although we are still more or less locked down thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, I have resolved to take a walk most days for exercise and choosing a tree to follow in a park at least gets me walking once a month.

This time the park is Victoria Park and going to visit my tree on a frosty but sunny day earned me 4,700 steps there and back on my exercise counter.

Now without further ado, here is the tree… Continue Reading »

Silhouette of an oak tree on New Year’s Day, 2021

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It’s that time again for the monthly tree-following link box, which will stay open for your tree-related links until 7pm GMT on January 14.

Here in Cardiff the dark winter days start to lengthen perceptibly. The New Year has started with a very cold snap, with bitter north-easterly winds and night-time temperatures hovering around zero. But there has also been plenty of welcome sunshine.

I have said goodbye to the Persian ironwood tree I have been following, even though I will still see it from my study window every day. I hope to launch my new tree for 2021 later in the week.

Hopefully our regular tree followers will also have something to report this month as 2021, still blighted by the coronavirus pandemic, begins. You may not be able to visit the tree you usually follow – but any tree-related post will be acceptable from contributors old and new.

Point to any post you would like to share, using the link box below. And please don’t forget to leave a comment.

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

Thompson’s Park in Cardiff on New Year’s Day – people gathered near the duck pond

One of my New Year resolutions in this time of lockdown was to get out more, walk most days and get some sunshine. At least I started well on New Year’s Day with a walk around Thompson’s Park. It’s a favourite of mine so I suppose none of these images show anything new.

In these Covid days I do try to avoid people so find myself straying from the pathways to distance myself and holding my breath as I pass if I can’t. I don’t suppose I was surprised that people gathered dangerously together near the duck pond in the lower part of the park. Continue Reading »

Moonlit Owl by Kirsty R Walker for the Alzheimer’s Society

After a relentlessly dismal 2020 it’s time to sit back and admire all the Christmas cards we have received.

Last Christmas I was expecting an imminent hip replacement for my husband but the Covid pandemic put paid to his operation date in March, at the last minute. He has been in agony and shuffling with a Zimmer frame for months but finally had the hip replacement last week – and he came home to me on Christmas Eve a much more cheerful man! So we hope “things can only get better” as long as we can avoid the dreaded virus.

Is it just me or did Christmas cards seem a bit subdued this year? Anyway, here are just some of the designs that caught my eye. As usual, click on the image to go to the source if it’s a charity. Continue Reading »

Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) on December 8, 2020

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This has been a very satisfying month for the Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) in my garden.

The big success has been calling in our tree surgeon to cut back the big branches of the sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) growing through the ironwood and obscuring its loveliness.

As I have said before, I have no idea where the ironwood tree came from. It seems to be self-seeded, as is the sycamore. We have lived here for 40 years, since the house was built, and only now have I bothered to identify the Persica. Continue Reading »