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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

This knitted snowman was possibly part of a winter trail for the youngsters in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff

A couple of weeks ago I visited Llandaff Fields for a walk for the first time in several years – since the Covid-19 lockdown, I guess. Here are my photos… (more…)

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My new tree to follow – a sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff, with a dog walker on the right for scale

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Happy New Year! It’s time for me to choose a new tree to follow in 2023 – although I know some tree followers plump for a new subject in Spring when nature starts waking up again.

i have decided on a tree even closer to my Cardiff home than last year’s. That tulip tree in Victoria Park took me 20 to 30 minutes to reach on foot, while this one takes about 10 minutes – and only five minutes to reach a point where I can see it from the road.

As revealed in the photo above, I have selected a sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) in Llandaff Fields. In America this would be called a sycamore maple but in the UK it’s simply a sycamore. (more…)

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Pine trees and others in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff

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Welcome to the first tree-following gathering of 2023. I look forward to seeing everyone’s news and pictures once again. Newcomers are always welcome and I hope some of the usual followers might be thinking about their next tree already.

Here in South Wales, January has started with mostly damp weather, although there have been a few sunnier breaks as the days lengthen.

I have now rounded up my year of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park and will introduce my new tree next week.

I’m sure you regular tree followers will have something to report. Point to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box below. And please don’t forget to leave a comment.

The link box is now open for contributions and will stay open until 7pm GMT on January 14.

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here, although, as I have been saying for ages, I must update that page when I have the chance!

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The bare tulip tree in February 2022

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I will soon be starting to follow a new tree so it’s time to look back on 2022, the year of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park.

For the record, all my tulip tree posts can be found here.

These are some of my photos taken from winter through spring, summer and autumn to winter again… (more…)

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Dead leaves in Thompson’s Park on Boxing Day

It has been a while since I walked around Thompson’s Park, the nearest of Cardiff’s small parks to my home. But Boxing Day was a rare day of sunshine and showers in an otherwise very wet and murky festive period, so I thought I would get some fresh air.

As usual at this time of year there were still a few observations of interest. Here are my photos… (more…)

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Twin trunks of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park

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I visited the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park for the last time today as we near the end of the year.

The weather has been cold since the start of December, with some frost, ice and freezing mist – but only one light dusting of snow so far. Today was very cold and raw but brighter than the dank days earlier in the week.

The tree is now stripped bare of leaves, as it was when I first started to follow it in February 2022.

Here are the photos from my visit… (more…)

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Glossy smooth-leaved branches of a holly (Ilex) in my garden – I have yet to find a satisfactory explanation of why some of the leaves lack prickles

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Welcome to the December tree-following gathering. I look forward to seeing everyone’s news and pictures once again. And newcomers are also always welcome.

Here in South Wales, after a very wet November, December has begun very cold and much drier, with winds from the north and east.

This is the time when evergreen trees start to show their winter usefulness, although there are still a few yellow autumn leaves on the bigger ash trees (Fraxinus) and the sycamores (Acer pseudoplatanus).

I will need to visit the tall tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park in the next week, to say goodbye after a year of following it.

I’m sure you regular tree followers will have something new to report. Point to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box below. And please don’t forget to leave a comment.

The link box is now open for contributions and will stay open until 7pm GMT on December 14.

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here, although, as I have been saying all year, I must update that page when I have the chance!

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A single leaf of Persian ironwood (Parrotia persica) clings to a twig in the garden

Today is the last day of November and tomorrow we start the three cold months of winter. Throughout these last few weeks the colour has gradually been draining from the garden, as viewed from my desk window. Here are some highlights… (more…)

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Painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) on Mahonia this week

I felt a bit depressed as I sat at my desk on Friday morning, overwhelmed by working full-time from home, an unwell husband and all the housework. But blue skies and a couple of “exciting” nature observations brightened my mood no end…

We pruned our huge Mahonia brutally last year but it has come back better than ever, its yellow flowers attracting so much wildlife with their pollen – and later the berries. It was the subject of one of my very early blog posts in November 2009 – see here.

I picked up my camera and zoomed in on a butterfly I didn’t quite recognise and it turned out to be a painted lady (Vanessa cardui) – we see many speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) and holly blue (Celastrina argiolus) butterflies in our garden but I don’t think I have ever seen a painted lady before. (more…)

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Autumn leaves of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park this week

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I am glad I visited the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park a bit earlier this time as I might otherwise have missed its autumn colour.

We have had so much rain and wind in recent weeks that most of the loosening leaves have been blown from the branches and now lie in mush on the grass.

Here are the photos from my latest visit, on a rare dry day… (more…)

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