Archive for August, 2018


Mother and child great crested grebes on the Wharf – there had been two young ones but the other was killed by a gull when it fell from its mother’s back, witnessed by a friend of mine one lunchtime

On a recent walk beside the Wharf (former East Bute Dock) in Cardiff Bay I saw two pairs of great crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus). Until then I had thought only one pair lived there. Here are a couple of scenes from their daily life. (more…)

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Plenty of green leaves on the linden next to the Wharf in Cardiff Bay, despite the drought


The drought has broken in Cardiff now. We have had plenty of welcome rain over the last week, following a couple of months of hot and dry weather. The small-leaved linden (a cultivar of Tilia cordata) next to the Wharf in Cardiff Bay is looking surprisingly green and healthy.

My monthly tree-following visit had to take a bit of a detour this time, as the developers of the apartments/flats alongside the Wharf have blocked off the footpath during construction work. I hope this will eventually open up again to allow a complete circuit of the old Bute East Dock, but it’s not certain, as part of the land is privately owned. For now I had to walk along Schooner Way to regain my route. (more…)

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Despite watering, the drought has killed all the leaves on the little Euonymus alatus in my garden, a winged spindle tree – the twigs have corky “wings” and usually the leaves are a brilliant red in autumn, but not this year…


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month. To explore everyone’s updates, please go straight to the bottom of this post.

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here.

Here in Cardiff we had a brief respite from the very hot, dry weather, which sometimes reached 30 degrees Celsius – we did have a few days of welcome rain, but it didn’t last. I hope the weather is more temperate in your part of the world…

Our ranks of tree followers are growing all the time, so why not join them next time? Point us to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box published on the 7th of each month and lasting for a week.

We always love to read your tree news – so thank you to everyone who contributed this month. Here are the links…

Erika Groth in Sweden – bird cherry

Frances at Island Threads, off the North West coast of Scotland – hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – the quince count goes on

Flighty’s Plot – Liz’s black walnut in Lexington, Kentucky, and Mike’s medlars

Pat – Squirrelbasket – small-leaved linden

Hollis (In the Company of Plants and Rocks) – boxelder (Acer negundo) and whatever’s nearby

Lea’s Menagerie in Mississippi – red maple

Thank you to everyone for taking part – see you all again on September 7!

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The Pontcanna Fields wall, on the right, is accompanied by maybe a hundred holm oaks

This is a blog post I have been mulling over for years but finally I have drawn together all my snaps of what I like to call the Great Wall of Pontcanna, which runs around Pontcanna Fields in Cardiff. Also fascinating for me is the fact that for its entire length it is accompanied by a row of evergreen holm oaks (Quercus ilex), which must be a century old.

Please indulge me, as many of you will not find this at all interesting and there are lots of pictures! But I have considered it a sort of journey of exploration, like the search for the source of the Nile… (more…)

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