I didn’t plan to post another Loose and Leafy tree following update so soon after the last, but I got the urge to go and visit my hornbeam again and the resulting pictures don’t warrant a major posting, so I will get it off my chest before moving on to a “proper” visit on another day.
I had been slightly worried that the tree might be felled, after spotting men with chainsaws on my last visit to Llandaff Fields…
Hopefully they were just cutting off the low and potentially dangerous boughs from the biggest trees, but I was steeling myself for the worst and trying not to feel miserable and grief-stricken at the prospect. Never get too attached to a tree!
Anyway, I had been watching the much smaller hornbeam I pass on the street every day and it was getting along nicely and I didn’t want to miss any new green leaves on the much bigger and older tree I am following.
The only opportunity I was going to have to go and visit before work was yesterday. I knew it was going to rain, but I stubbornly persevered. I had also decided that this time I would catch the same bus up to the park gate as I had been catching back down into town on my last two visits to the tree.
From where I live the bus is only hourly and it’s only one or two stops, but steeply uphill. It was the rush hour and I was at the stop 10 minutes early and then the bus was 10 minutes late. It was bucketing down with rain and there was no shelter so I couldn’t even read a book (Kindle).
I had my “proper” digital SLR camera with me (stupid idea) and its bag, which had hardly ever been out of the house, got soaked.
Anyway. I got on the bus and looked out for the landmark just before the stop I needed. I never spotted it. Then I did see a bus stop and told the driver aaargh, I’ve missed my stop! The next one isn’t far, he said. Easy for him to say, when he has “wheels”.
So I got off and started walking back. I didn’t seem to be in the right place. I was in a warren (possibly not the right word) of posh old houses.
It carried on raining. I juggled my umbrella, work bag, camera bag and phone to look up Google Maps. Not altogether successful. I saw familiar street names but as it was so overcast I couldn’t see the sun so didn’t know which way was south.
I changed direction several times and saw buses I didn’t expect to see but eventually thought I knew where I was going. Just to check, I asked a very nice man who was fixing his van. Phew! Yes I was going in the right direction.
So I found the fields again, from the opposite direction to usual, just as lightning flashed and thunder rumbled all around. Oh dear, best not to stand under a tree in a thunderstorm!
But I am over-dramatizing. It was only sheet lightning and wasn’t overhead (yet).
Anyway, now I had come this far, I just wanted to check if the tree was still there, take pictures of its leaves with my long lens (as the branches are so high up), and get out of there.
Hooray! It was still standing. But the ground was muddy, the light was very poor and I had to juggle to use my “proper” camera. So it was very disappointing. I took about three pictures and none is in focus. A good camera does nothing for a poor photographer and I would have been better off sticking with my wonderful Olympus compact camera. For the record, here are the pictures…
I was slightly disappointed that the leaves were not that far on, compared to the small hornbeam alongside the street. I took some pictures of that on my way home in the evening, with my macro lens. Another failure!
The other news is that I think I have identified “my” tree on an aerial view from Google Maps. I don’t know when the image was taken, but it clearly shows the hornbeam with a side branch, which I think may be a bough that was lopped off in the last few years and where saw-marks can still be seen.
One thing I HAVE learned. The bus I caught UP the hill does not go along the same route as the same bus coming DOWN into town past the park. I hadn’t noticed that it turned off on to another road just after I caught it. There is a whole stretch of main road with no bus stops on that side. Drat! Next time I will be walking up the hill again. People with “wheels” just don’t understand…