2016 tree following 9: Before the fall
October 9, 2016 by squirrelbasket
A few leaves on the oak tree are turning to autumn gold
The oak tree (Quercus robur) in the middle of Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park is at last tinged with autumn colours – although it’s still mostly green and you have to make an effort to find the golden leaves.
Now we are past the equinox and the daylight hours are getting shorter there is a distinct nip in the air. This has been particularly noticeable in the last fortnight as we have had cold easterly winds, unusual in South Wales.
The oak tree I am following this year in Thompson’s Park
The wasp galls are still there and some are going hard and brown.
Ram’s horn gall formed by the wasp Andricus aries
One of the parts of the double ram’s horn gall I have been watching has now turned brown
A better look at that
Acorn cup gall formed by the wasp Andricus grossulariae or possibly knopper gall formed by Andricus quercuscalicis – I still haven’t quite worked out the difference
I think these are new – marble galls made by the wasp Andricus kollari – they don’t seem as smooth as old ones I saw last spring
A closer look
I have never spotted the tiny wasps that make all these galls, although there were ordinary common wasps (Vespula vulgaris) on the tree on this visit. Annoyingly I couldn’t capture a picture.
Next spring’s buds have already formed on the twigs
This hole in the trunk still intrigues me. For a moment I thought there was life in it – but it was only dead leaves caught in cobwebs
This nearby attempt at a woodpecker nesting hole seems neat and new
The other side of the oak – with feral pigeons on the ground
A pigeon feather
The parks people had been mowing on the soft ground
A colourful piece of litter – I never even knew you could get ‘blue raspberry flavour candy strips’
I hope I can catch the oak when it’s covered in these lovely autumn shades…
Meet you again in November – a word that sounds SO wintry!
All my blog posts about trees can be found here.
Meanwhile if you haven’t posted your monthly tree-following news yet, the link box is open until October 14 here.