Archive for November, 2019

Bird’s nest is a surprise windfall

An old bird’s nest found on the lawn – and placed on a paper towel

As I was sweeping up the fallen leaves from our sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) the other day I found this old nest. I assume it must have been in the tree until the recent strong winds.

I put it on a kitchen towel and took it to show my husband, who immediately flinched in disgust thinking it was a dead rat! I admit it was a bit messy and at first glance I thought it was a dead something, too. But even that would attract my interest rather than repelling me… (more…)

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A few fallen leaves of the Mermaid Quay London plane trapped in a puddle


Despite strong winds here in Cardiff the London plane (Platanus × hispanica or Platanus × acerifolia) I am following in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, still has more leaves than many other tree species in the area.

This month the weather has been colder and wetter but with the odd day of lovely late autumn sunshine. The good thing about the rain is that it catches some of the beautiful fallen leaves in puddles, while last month they all blew away. (more…)

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Colourful autumn leaves of the cherry trees around Cardiff’s County Hall – few leaves now remain


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month.

Here in South Wales we have had a lot more rain and now it is growing colder. The days seem very short since we ended daylight saving time and the clocks went back an hour to Greenwich Mean Time on October 27. The mornings are slightly lighter – but not for much longer – and the dark, dank evenings make us look forward to the Christmas lights on the city streets.

You will find everyone’s updates below, so enjoy exploring…

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – quince – hello autumn

Flighty’s Plot – Liz’s witch hazel in Lexington, Kentucky, and Mike’s apple tree

Erika Groth in Sweden – aspens – winter sleep

Hollis – In the Company of Plants and Rocks – Russian hawthorn at the University of Wyoming – tasty haws and leafless trees

JayP – Amblings around Penwith (Cornwall) – flowering dogwood – fallen fruit and autumn leaves

Andrew – Kind Hearts and Corydalis – Oliver the oak – plus interesting links to some science and science fiction…

Frances at Island Threads, off the North West coast of Scotland – hawthorn

Pat – Squirrelbasket – the London plane of Mermaid Quay, Cardiff

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

Why not join us in 2020? You could start looking for a tree to observe right now. Just 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. Although we all try to publish every month, we are very forgiving if you post less often.

See you next month…

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The Great Wave by Hokusai, sometimes thought to depict a tsunami, but more likely a rogue wave – click on the picture to go to an interesting history of the artwork on Culture Trip

To coincide with the climax of the Rugby World Cup tournament in Japan I thought I would revisit my occasional series on words we have adopted or adapted into everyday English use.

Previously I have explored words with their roots in Anglo-Saxon, Latin, Celtic, Scandinavian, Indian and Spanish.

With Japanese it is probably a bit different as English speakers didn’t have much contact with the country until the mid-19th century. So most of these words are comparatively new additions to English and came to us along with newly-arrived foods, cultural or sporting practices. Here are some of my favourites – there are links throughout to more information – mostly but not only on Wikipedia. And click on the pictures to go to the image source… (more…)

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