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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

The grass grows pink

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Pink grass beside the bridge on the River Taff

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Grasses, Ferns, Mosses and Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland

In June and early July I noticed grass. I suppose it’s there all the time, but it was particularly lush and noticeable around then. So I decided to make a feeble attempt to identify a handful of those I saw. I expect some of you know far more about grasses than I do, so feel free to chip in with the correct identification if I am way out.

I have TRIED to identify all these grasses, mainly using a book I have called Grasses, Ferns, Mosses and Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland by Roger Phillips. It narrows the identification down, but I do have trouble even recognising the same grass in different states of maturity.

In between the sections on the various grasses, I have inserted some “musings” about words related to grass and books with “grass” in the title… (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.

Mystery of the bent trees

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Trunks that veer into a right angle found across the US could be secret Native American trail markers, according to MailOnline…

Mass planting tries to reverse ‘tree cemetery’ of the Monaro

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A huge area of eucalyptus has been killed in New South Wales, but planting is going on to replace them with new habitat, according to Australia’s ABC…

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Sunshine through oak leaves, July 2016

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It’s the height of summer and the pedunculate oak (Quercus Robur) in the middle of Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, is looking remarkably healthy for such an old tree.

Mostly it is one mass of leathery green leaves, so I had to inspect it closely for some time before I found anything to report.

I was eventually pleased to spot a few interesting details as well as taking pictures of the usual “general views”.
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Avenue of horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) in Llandaff Fields, Cardiff

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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.

It’s a mixed picture in Cardiff – most trees are at peak summer green-ness and starting to look scruffy, some with disease, others because the leaves have been ripped to shreds by rain and brisk winds.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some more northern trees followed by our friends in Scandinavia are only just flowering.

But here many trees, both native and exotic, are at the fruit/nut/seed stage. (more…)

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Yarrow or milfoil (Achillea millefolium) in the office car park, June 2016

For a few months now I have been working three days a week in an unprepossessing low-rise office on a small industrial estate in Newport, South East Wales, about 10 miles down the road from Cardiff.

I don’t go out much, as the weather has been wet and there isn’t a lot to see apart from corner shops, but the other day I found myself wandering around the car park in the sunshine, while on my mobile phone to someone. And I suddenly realised that the scruffy edges of the car park are full of wonderful wild flowers. (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.

‘It smells so bad you can taste it’

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Grey-headed flying foxes are making life a misery in an Australian tourist town, so their trees may be chopped down, says the Guardian…

Why Oakmont waged a war on trees

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the Pennsylvania country club has felled 7,500 trees since it last hosted the US Open golf tournament…

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Oak (Quercus robur) in Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park, May 24, 2016

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As I expected, the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, has now lost its fresh spring green colours and the leaves are dark and leathery. But the transformation has happened in just a fortnight, between my two visits this month.

Now that the tree has settled down for the “boring bit” of the year (in my humble opinion), I also looked under and around the tree to see what I could find.

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