Archive for December, 2016


Robin (Erithacus rubecula) at Dunraven on Christmas Day 2016

When it’s fine on Christmas Day we often go to Dunraven Castle at Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan to eat pâté and pickle sandwiches in the walled garden – our main meal of roast beef and Brussels sprouts is in the evening. This year the weather was good, with a cold, brisk wind that kept the cloudy sky interesting. (more…)

Read Full Post »


This was the main card I sent out to people this year, although thinking about it I’m not sure what makes it Christmassy – Moongazing Hares by Dawn Maciocia for the RSPB rspb.org.uk

As usual I wish you a Merry Christmas with some of my favourite designs from the cards I have received this year. They are all charity cards so click on the images to go to the charity websites. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Here is another selection of tree news articles from around the world. Festive warning: May contain Christmas trees!
Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Talent show for trees?


I watched the tree of the year contest on Channel 4 TV and was worried it would be too much like X-Factor, but Ardal O’Hanlon did a pretty good job in keeping it light. Click on the image to go to the preview article, which also describes more of the trees taking part…

And the winner is – a Welsh oak


An oak tree in Mid Wales won the UK tree of the year accolade – it was so precious that a new road was diverted around it. Here’s the Wales Online report…


Read Full Post »


Lush leaf of bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis) in December

At the beginning of 2016 I promised myself I would keep an eye on Thompson’s Park in Cardiff as the seasons changed through the year, so I have just enough time before Christmas to fit in a snapshot of the park as we pass from late autumn into early winter.

I took these pictures on November 25 and December 9 and in just a fortnight almost the last of the autumn leaves fell. Some berries and seeds remain and there are a few winter blossoms. Please let me know if I have misidentified anything… (more…)

Read Full Post »


Fallen oak leaves in December


Last month I was becoming a bit impatient with the oak tree (Quercus robur) I am following in Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park, as it seemed slow to take on autumn hues. But I knew that when the right time came it would all happen very quickly, so I have visited the tree twice this month. And what a difference a fortnight has made.

The following pictures were taken on November 25 and December 9 and where I can I put similar shots together for comparison. A fortnight ago the leaves were golden but now they are brown and more have fallen to the ground. (more…)

Read Full Post »


Colourful leaves of beech (Fagus sylvatica) in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, at the end of November 2016


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.

In Cardiff we are right at the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, so the days are getting shorter and colder but there are still some colourful leaves remaining on beech trees, a few varieties of maple and even the oak tree I am following, which I will write a post about later this week.

Meanwhile whether you are already a tree follower or not, it could be time to think about finding your tree to follow next year. No rush, you can join in at any time and you don’t really have to do it every single month if that’s too much. (more…)

Read Full Post »


Grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) on the neighbour’s roof on the first day of December

It’s that time of year when I start to see birds again. The greenery that has been hiding them all summer has now fallen away to reveal our winged friends. They have probably been there all along, just not noticed since last spring. (more…)

Read Full Post »