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Archive for December, 2014

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First meeting with my hornbeam on February 25, 2014 – and I thought it was a beech

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It’s New Year’s Eve and I must put my hornbeam behind me. It has been a great year of following trees and I can now identify more species than ever before – hopefully even without their leaves on.

But the special one was this hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and I must draw a line under it by bringing together its changing seasons. Thanks again to Loose and Leafy for this great tree-following project.
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Unusual painted window in St Alkmund’s Church, Shrewsbury

Continuing my memories of Shropshire in summer, here are two excellent churches we visited in Shrewsbury – St Alkmund’s and St Mary’s. There are many more but these are just two we happened upon.
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Primroses in the walled garden at Southerndown, Christmas Day, 2014

It was a glorious blue-sky Christmas Day, so we went for our traditional walk at Southerndown, on Glamorgan’s Jurassic coast. Here are a few pictures of what we saw – including quite a few flowers spotted hanging on late in the season or blooming very early…

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View of Southerndown as we walked down from the top car park – VERY bright sunshine!


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A long-tailed tit features in this Christmas card designed by Sue Waddicor for the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)…

I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas with a few of my favourite festive cards from charities this year. I sent out the one above to many people – and I received the same one from someone else, too. It’s a lovely long-tailed tit in a berried wreath – the berries look like mistletoe (very translucent like pearls) and perhaps snowberry (Symphoricarpos). And the leaves are a bit autumnal, very appropriate with our British winters starting later and later these days. See the RSPB website: rspb.org.uk.

Then there are my favourites from the cards I have received…
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Typical old Shrewsbury timber-framed architecture

It’s nearly the end of the year but I still have unfinished business with my summer holidays – so I am catching up with sorting my Shropshire pictures from August. I’ll leave Shrewsbury churches for another day, but here are some great old buildings in the county town, many of them in the timber-framed black-and-white Tudor style that has sometimes given this area the nickname “magpie country” – or at least I saw it called that in the Reader’s Digest once when I was a child. (more…)

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Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) on December 7, 2014

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In under a fortnight it will be the shortest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere. Never before have I followed the changing seasons so closely – and it’s all thanks to Lucy Corrander and her Loose & Leafy tree following project.

This post features pictures from two visits to the hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff, on the morning of our first frost on November 24 and on December 7. (more…)

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A beekeeping fairy? Metal figure outside a shop in Bishop’s Castle

With all the nature activity of autumn, only now am I getting around to processing my summer holiday pictures, so you can expect a few posts about our August trip to Shropshire, an ancient county on the English side of the Welsh border. First up is the very small market town of Bishop’s Castle. (more…)

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