Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category


Swamp cypress in January

This year I intend to bore you all silly with conifers! I aim to identify as many species as I can and have been spending the winter making observations, at a time when most other trees lose their leaves and evergreen conifers are obvious in the landscape. Having said that, I am starting with a conifer that also loses its leaves (apparently not called “needles” in this case).

I never knew deciduous conifers existed – apart from the larch (Larix decidua) – until last November, when I first observed this swamp cypress (Taxodium distichum) close to the red footbridge in Cardiff’s Bute Park. (more…)

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Here is another selection of tree news articles from around the world. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

A bird’s eye view at arboretum


A wonderful aerial walkway has been built at the Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire – lots of pictures from the Daily Mail…

How bear dung helps cherry trees


The New Scientist says bears help move Japanese cherry trees uphill to cooler habitats…


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New leaves on April 26 on the oak I am following in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff


As I hoped and feared, everything happened all at once in April to the oak tree I am following in Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park. I had planned to visit every week to keep track of progress but in the end I made only two visits, on April 26 and on May 10. And how different it looked on those two occasions.

On my first visit the leaves were gold and burgeoning. There were also many “catkin” flowers, but these had mostly fallen like furry caterpillars to the ground by my second visit.

Here are some of my pictures… (more…)

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Copper beech (Fagus sylvatica purpurea) coming into leaf


Here we are again with the monthly shout-out to all tree followers. If you are new to tree following, read all about it here.

The May tree-following link box is now closed, but at the bottom of this post you will find links to all the wonderful contributions we received this month…

Here in Cardiff everything is very dappled. And it made me think that the Impressionist artists who used “pointillism” had the right idea. The trees that are just starting to wake up for spring are very “dotty” and every dot is a leaf, or a flower.

So I had a go at a couple of photographs using the PhotoShop “Pointillize” filter…


An attempt to pointillize an image of young maple leaves


An attempt to pointillize a cherry tree

That wasn’t totally successful, but it amused me for half an hour!

All too soon summer will join up all the dots and everywhere will be a mass of green. I prefer spring, it’s so much prettier.

I look forward to seeing what the trees are like where you live.

By the way, if you haven’t noticed, Lucy Corrander, who used to manage this wonderful “meme”, has a new laptop and is back to her old blogging self again. You will find her here: Loose and Leafy.

Here are this month’s tree-following contributors…

Linda’s Garden – Buddleia/butterfly bush

Erika Groth – Betula/birch

Alison – Blackberry Garden – Cydonia/quince

Frances – Island Threads – Betula pubescens/downy birch

Tineke – ‘t Groentje – Salix/willow

Caroline – Wild and Wonderful – Betula pendula/birch and Prunus avium Sylvia/cherry

Hollis – Plants and Rocks – tree photography tips

Annie – Earthstar – Metasequoia glyptostroboides/dawn redwood

Maria – Leaf Encounter – Acer pseudoplatanus/English sycamore revisited

Liz – Amelanchier/serviceberry

Jean’s Garden – /Prunus/native Maine cherry

Beth – Plant Postings – mystery Aesculus/buckeye – and a great time-lapse video

Flighty’s Plot – Quercus/young oak

Pat – Squirrelbasket – Quercus/oak

Tina – My Gardener Says – Platanus occidentalis/American sycamore

Janet – Plantaliscious – Prunus/cherry

Thank you to everyone – see you all again on June 7!

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Fallen chestnut tree in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, April 26

How will it end? This old horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, was felled by the gale we called Storm Imogen on February 8 (see my blog post here). But it doesn’t know it’s dead. I have been photographing it for the last couple of months as it came into leaf and flower as normal, despite being horizontal. (more…)

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Horse chestnut beside the river Taff

In the centre of Cardiff we are blessed with long paths alongside the River Taff and I walk along one of them at least once a week. I have been watching the trees as they have gradually come into leaf and have managed to make quite a few basic identifications. (more…)

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Here is another selection of tree news articles from around the world. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Don’t just hug it – climb it


Jack Cooke shares his love of urban tree climbing in The Guardian…

Pretty in pink


Spectacular pictures of cherry blossom time in Japan and South Korea on Mail Online…


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