Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category


Male blackbird (Turdus merula)

Over the years you hear sounds in the garden that tell you it’s a certain season. And sometimes it takes you years to work out what makes these sounds. This was the case with the squeaking of the cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) in summer, which I wrote about here.

Another sound, which I can hear as I write this, is the thin, plaintive, high-pitched squealing/shrieking/wailing of the baby bird season. I have had trouble describing it, but I have seen some people online give it a name – and that name is “Tseeep”. It could also be “Tseeeeep” or even “Tseeeeeeep”, as it is quite drawn out and mournful. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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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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