Archive for August, 2016


View from Cerne Abbas viewing point in Dorset

I’m just back from my annual trip to Dorset, so my next few posts will probably feature a few new things I saw for the first time.

One day, while heading somewhere else, I looked at the map and realised we were going to pass by the famous Cerne Abbas Giant, one of those old chalk figures that brighten the area – and this one is famous for being a bit “rude”. (more…)


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Here is another selection of tree news articles from around the world. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

The Great Bear rainforest is a model for how to save trees


The Great Bear forest in Canada is almost 16 million acres and home to thousand-year-old cedar trees and rare species. Here environmentalists and loggers have worked together, says PRI…

Help track down historic, royal mulberries


The Conservation Foundation is trying to find and survey ancient mulberries in London, says the Telegraph…


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Change and decay in all around I see…


Here’s my August contribution to the tree following project, which you can read all about here. The August link box is here.

The old pedunculate oak (Quercus Robur) I am following every month in the middle of Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, is changing, and not for the better.

When I visited the other day we had just experienced heavy rain and strong winds.

Even from a distance I could see there was a branch down. (more…)

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The berries are growing but not ripening yet – can anyone identify this small tree for me? It reminds me of something like a Sorbus or a member of the rose family… but thank you to tree follower Karen Gimson, who says it is probably Crataegus prunifolia, which makes sense as its berries are like hawthorn but its leaves are like cherry!


Here we are again with the monthly shout-out to all tree followers. If you are new to tree following, read all about it here.

I know August can be a difficult time to keep up with the tree following, what with holidays and days at the beach. And in some ways trees look as if “nothing is happening”. So I was delighted so many regular followers – and two new ones – took part this month.

The August tree-following link box is now closed, but at the bottom of this post you will find links to all the wonderful contributions we received this month…

In Cardiff it has mainly been a cool summer. We had about three days of “heatwave” but more recently we have had wet and windy weather. (more…)

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The grass grows pink


Pink grass beside the bridge on the River Taff


Grasses, Ferns, Mosses and Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland

In June and early July I noticed grass. I suppose it’s there all the time, but it was particularly lush and noticeable around then. So I decided to make a feeble attempt to identify a handful of those I saw. I expect some of you know far more about grasses than I do, so feel free to chip in with the correct identification if I am way out.

I have TRIED to identify all these grasses, mainly using a book I have called Grasses, Ferns, Mosses and Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland by Roger Phillips. It narrows the identification down, but I do have trouble even recognising the same grass in different states of maturity.

In between the sections on the various grasses, I have inserted some “musings” about words related to grass and books with “grass” in the title… (more…)

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