Archive for March, 2016


Big trees in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, in early March

For a few years now I have had the ambition of identifying trees in winter, when they have no leaves so other means are needed. I think I am now getting somewhere. For starters, here are five major “native” trees in Thompson’s Park, Canton, Cardiff, a park I have adopted to study for the year. I also draw some similarities with trees seen previously in other parks. (more…)

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Fujin, god of wind, a bronze statue at Dyffryn Gardens

There are several Japanese bronze sculptures at the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan, all of them donated by Grenville Morgan in 1951 or 1952. I’m afraid I don’t know much about the gentleman.

I will start with bronzes of a pair of fearsome nature gods, Fujin and Raijin, not currently on full display – or at least when I last saw them they were tucked away in a glasshouse. (more…)

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Collared doves smooching in the garden last week

There was one day last week when I noticed the birds were going around in lovey-dovey pairs and those that weren’t were picking up home-making materials. (more…)

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Last month’s round-up of tree news went down well, so here is another selection of articles from around the world. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Rare Australian bird farms manna from trees


The New Scientist reports that the Tasmanian forty-spotted pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus) deliberately encourages trees to release manna, a sugary crystallised sap…

Sales boom for Canadian 2016 cherry-blossom silver coin


Seasonal spring blooms adorn a newly released Royal Canadian Mint coin that appears poised for a quick sellout…


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“Sticky buds” of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) start to open on the riverbank in Cardiff


It’s that time again – for tree followers to get together for a monthly exchange of news. The Mister Linky link box is open from the 7am on the 7th to the 14th of each month. The link box is now closed but see everyone’s links at the end of this post.

If you are new to tree following, you can find out all about it here.

Here in mild South Wales there are a few signs of spring, although they are patchy. The horse chestnut buds on the banks of the river Taff are starting to open but in more exposed areas of Cardiff they are still firmly shut. (more…)

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Buds ready to pop, I hope, on my pigeon tree


There doesn’t seem to have been much change this month in the tree I am following in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff. Or are the buds plumper than they were?

I am pretty sure it is an oak (Quercus) of some sort (there are many sorts) and this has been reinforced by a comment from Maria at Leafencounter, who said: “I learned a shortcut to winter plant ID a few years ago – only cherries and oaks have terminal clustered buds.”

That seems excellent advice and I have since identified a few cherry trees using this as a rough guide. (more…)

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