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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

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Half-dead tree surrounded by a fence in Bute Park, Cardiff, on May 8, 2015

I have been intrigued by this half-dead tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, since May. Now at last I know what species it is, but it took a while to learn its secrets. Bear with me, as I think it’s worth the wait! (more…)

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Fresh leaves on the empress tree, Paulownia tomentosa, in Bute Park, Cardiff, on July 2, 2015

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Last month, as the purple flowers were falling and the leaves were just opening, the empress tree I am following in Bute Park, Cardiff, looked a mess – and I feared she would look terrible all summer. But bless her, she now looks splendid all clad in fresh greenery.

You may recall I am following this Paulownia tomentosa, also known as the foxglove tree, princess tree or empress tree, as part of the excellent Loose and Leafy tree-following project.

My latest visit to (more…)

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Wingnut tree in Bute park, Cardiff, March 26, 2015

I had heard about the champion wingnut tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, months before I first located it. I have been visiting the park – and the Paulownia tree I am following – since January, but I didn’t spot the wingnut tree until March. Despite the fact that it is considered to be a bit of a landmark, next to the red footbridge over the River Taff.

Here are (more…)

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Juvenile great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

In May and June there have been plenty of baby birds in the garden and I have been trying to capture them. Mostly I have been disappointed. My pictures are rubbish, really. But I felt I wanted to share them just to prove the variety of species we have breeding in our backyard.

The first spot of the year was (more…)

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Bumble bee (possibly Bombus hypnorum) on wall lettuce (Lactuca muralis), June 2015

Thanks to Lucy Corrander’s street plants project I am making more of an effort to notice and identify the weedy plants I pass on the pavement every day.

Now at last I think I can name a couple more of the dandelion-like yellow-flowered plants that (more…)

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Davidia involucrata in Bute Park, Cardiff, May 8, 2015

These three trees crept up on me during my wanderings in May. In each case I had been looking for something else, or not looking at all, when I turned my head slightly and there they were in all their green and white glory. None of them are native trees. Two of them were in Bute Park and one on the street…

First up is a species I know, although (more…)

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Pink valerian (Centranthus ruber) growing on a street wall in Cardiff last week

There is red valerian in flower everywhere in Cardiff at the moment, growing from walls and flat roofs where it wasn’t planted. I always notice this stout plant, as it was one of the first I could put a name to. It grew on the lean-to shed outside the back door of the cottage where I lived as a child. I don’t remember (more…)

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