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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

200315-eclipse-29

Don’t look at the sun! 2015 eclipse through a tree – there will be lots of trees in this blog post!

I know it’s all so “yesterday” (or the day before yesterday), but Friday was an eclipse day here in the UK. The solar eclipse wasn’t total here in Cardiff, but we would get something like 85% coverage.

During the last good eclipse here, in August 1999, I watched from the office window, using special viewers, but this time I wanted to do it differently and I had a few plans. (more…)

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270215-bute-07

London plane trees (Platanus x hispanica) in Bute Park, Cardiff

Spring is on its way, but in Bute Park, Cardiff, there are signs of death and decay as well as signs of new life and growth. (more…)

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270215-empress-02

The empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) in Bute Park, Cardiff

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This is the second post from the empress tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, as part of the brilliant Loose and Leafy tree-following project organised by Lucy Corrander.

I probably gave away too much historical information about the Paulownia tomentosa species in my first post, so this time I am just inspecting the Cardiff tree, planted in the 1950s, more closely to see what I can find before it bursts into flowery and leafy life in Spring. (more…)

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200215-wall-05b

Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) at the base of a postbox

Lucy Corrander, over at the Loose and Leafy blog, has a section in which she features wild plants growing on town and city streets. So this post is for her!

I see these plants most days but only rarely take pictures of them. This is Llandaff Road in Cardiff, a traffic-busy street lined with houses and small front gardens, plus a few shops and former institutions. Here are the best plants I spotted in the space of about half a mile on a late-February morning. I suppose the traffic keeps the street quite warm. Any help with the identification gratefully received…
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080215-wagtail-01Sb

Grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) on the roof, February 8, 2015

I have written before about grey wagtails – see my post from November 2013 (can it really be that long ago?) – but they are such a rarity here that I like to mark their appearances.

I only ever see grey wagtails on the neighbour’s moss-covered roof and it is usually on a clear, cold day at the beginning or end of winter. I know they (more…)

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160115-empress-08

Any guesses about the species yet?

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After much wandering in Cardiff’s Bute Park Arboretum (see my last post), I’ve decided on my tree to follow for 2015 as part of Lucy Corrander’s Loose and Leafy project.

It’s one I hadn’t seen before. It’s not a native tree, and the crown is very high so I may need to do a lot of zooming in with my camera, but it is a champion among trees, or so it says on the label kindly put there by the arboretum people…

(more…)

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160115-plane-01

A London plane (Platanus x hispanica) in Bute Park, Cardiff, in January

Last year I kept track of a hornbeam in Llandaff Fields in Cardiff, as part of Lucy Corrander’s wonderful tree following project, revisiting it every month and totally falling in love with the specimen that chose me. In January I have been searching for a new tree for 2015.

While Llandaff Fields are full of more-or-less native species, the Bute Park Arboretum in the centre of Cardiff, behind the castle, has many exotics alongside some champion native trees. I decided to explore, as I don’t know the park very well at all.

(more…)

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