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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Street plants in summer

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Bee on some sort of brassica flower beside the street, July 2015

In a normal summer I would expect the street plants of Cardiff to be shrivelled and brown, but we have had so much rain this July and August that the pavements abound with lush greenery. Here are some of my favourite sightings… (more…)

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Fallen branch of empress tree in Bute Park, Cardiff, August 6, 2015

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August is usually a rough time for the trees here. The summer weather dries them out and diseases take their toll. But this year we have had a very wet July and I was pleased to see that the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) I am following in Bute Park, Cardiff, still looked lush and green when I visited on August 6.

I’m following it every month as part of Lucy Corrander’s tree-following project.

(more…)

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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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