Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category


“Sticky buds” of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) start to open on the riverbank in Cardiff


It’s that time again – for tree followers to get together for a monthly exchange of news. The Mister Linky link box is open from the 7am on the 7th to the 14th of each month. The link box is now closed but see everyone’s links at the end of this post.

If you are new to tree following, you can find out all about it here.

Here in mild South Wales there are a few signs of spring, although they are patchy. The horse chestnut buds on the banks of the river Taff are starting to open but in more exposed areas of Cardiff they are still firmly shut. (more…)

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Buds ready to pop, I hope, on my pigeon tree


There doesn’t seem to have been much change this month in the tree I am following in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff. Or are the buds plumper than they were?

I am pretty sure it is an oak (Quercus) of some sort (there are many sorts) and this has been reinforced by a comment from Maria at Leafencounter, who said: “I learned a shortcut to winter plant ID a few years ago – only cherries and oaks have terminal clustered buds.”

That seems excellent advice and I have since identified a few cherry trees using this as a rough guide. (more…)

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A Japanese horseback archery contest took place in Cardiff in 1991

Occasionally I look back at the pictures I took in the days before digital cameras. This time the subject was a Japanese Yabusame (horseback archery) event in Cardiff’s Cooper’s Field, part of Bute Park, on Sunday, September 15, 1991. That was a particular boom time for industry links between Wales and Japan and we all loved anything Japanese. (more…)

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Joyance by Sir William Goscombe John – a (replica) statue in the Thompson’s Park pond

I have taken so many pictures of Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park lately that it’s time I shared some general views, before spring starts properly and I am overcome by new flowers and green growth.


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A tree felled by Storm Imogen in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, last week

I still have so many happy images to share of Thompson’s Park in Cardiff, but when I visited last week, on the day after Storm Imogen, the tree damage claimed my attention instead. I know many people have pooh-poohed the new UK and Ireland Met Office system of naming the Atlantic storms of the autumn and winter alphabetically, but it does at least give a point of reference and stop the storms merging into one. Imogen was the ninth storm since November.


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Tree following link box for February 2016


Spring is in the air – already…


It’s that time again – for tree followers to get together for a monthly exchange of news. If you are new to tree following, you can find out all about it here.

In the northern hemisphere this is a great time to start a year of tree following, as “Now is the Sun come up from the south, With Oak, and Ash, and Thorn” – that’s from Kipling’s A Tree Song, by the way.


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This is a bit of a change from my usual blog posts, but I have noticed a lot of news stories about trees lately, so I thought I would share some of them with you. These include a few environmental tragedies, but also some happier articles. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Bush fires devastate ancient landscape


The Guardian reports that catastrophic bush fires, caused by lightning, have destroyed a huge area of ancient woodland in Tasmania. The world heritage site was home to a range of unique alpine flora including pencil pines, king billy pines and cushion plants, some more than 1,000 years old…

Vote for the European Tree of the Year


You can vote for the European Tree of the Year 2016 until the end of the month. At the moment the Eastern European trees are way ahead – a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest! The candidate pictured above is a pine growing through the middle of an oak in Spain…


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