Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category


Frosted oak leaves on January 3, 2017


Before I turn my attention to a new tree to follow in 2017, I am looking back with fondness at the old oak (Quercus robur) I have followed throughout 2016 in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff.

I visited again on a frosty day last week but now it’s winter there is not going to be much change until it starts the annual cycle again in spring.

The only new observation was this spent firework from the New Year’s Eve festivities…


Firework shell under the oak on January 3, 2017

So here is a comparison of how the tree looked as the months passed in 2016. (more…)

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Which tree is waiting for you in 2017? This is a cherry tree in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, pictured this week and tweaked with Photoshop


The January tree-following link box is now closed, but at the bottom of this post you will find links to the excellent contributions we received this month.

I am still trying to decide which tree to follow in 2017 but some people have already chosen a new tree – why not join us? There’s no rush, you can join in at any time and you don’t really have to do it every single month if that’s too much.

If you are new to tree following, read all about it here.

This time last year I shared my thoughts on how to choose a tree to follow – so if you are stuck for ideas you might read it here.

In Cardiff it’s the middle of winter and the start of a new year. For me it’s time to say goodbye to the tree I have followed through 2016 before moving on – see a round-up of my old oak’s year here.

Here are this month’s other contributions:

Erika Groth in Sweden has chosen a new tree – a rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

Frances at Island Threads, off the North West coast of Scotland, has also chosen a rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), so it will be interesting to compare

Alison at the Blackberry Garden followed a quince last year – and this year she has bought another to keep it company

Hollis (In the Company of Plants and Rocks) is taking an interest in a sabalites – a fossil palm tree once native to Wyoming

Amy in the Sonoran Desert (A Small Sunny Garden) has chosen a delightful Arizona rosewood (Vauquelinia californica) for 2017

Mike at Flighty’s Plot is now following a dogwood (Cornus), while his friend Liz in Kentucky plans to focus on a tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

January is quite a thin time for some tree followers, but the choices everyone has made so far are brilliant. Here’s to many more joining us before Spring comes to the Northern hemisphere. And it would be great to have someone from “down South”, too…

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

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Robin (Erithacus rubecula) at Dunraven on Christmas Day 2016

When it’s fine on Christmas Day we often go to Dunraven Castle at Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan to eat pâté and pickle sandwiches in the walled garden – our main meal of roast beef and Brussels sprouts is in the evening. This year the weather was good, with a cold, brisk wind that kept the cloudy sky interesting. (more…)

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Here is another selection of tree news articles from around the world. Festive warning: May contain Christmas trees!
Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Talent show for trees?


I watched the tree of the year contest on Channel 4 TV and was worried it would be too much like X-Factor, but Ardal O’Hanlon did a pretty good job in keeping it light. Click on the image to go to the preview article, which also describes more of the trees taking part…

And the winner is – a Welsh oak


An oak tree in Mid Wales won the UK tree of the year accolade – it was so precious that a new road was diverted around it. Here’s the Wales Online report…


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Lush leaf of bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis) in December

At the beginning of 2016 I promised myself I would keep an eye on Thompson’s Park in Cardiff as the seasons changed through the year, so I have just enough time before Christmas to fit in a snapshot of the park as we pass from late autumn into early winter.

I took these pictures on November 25 and December 9 and in just a fortnight almost the last of the autumn leaves fell. Some berries and seeds remain and there are a few winter blossoms. Please let me know if I have misidentified anything… (more…)

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Fallen oak leaves in December


Last month I was becoming a bit impatient with the oak tree (Quercus robur) I am following in Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park, as it seemed slow to take on autumn hues. But I knew that when the right time came it would all happen very quickly, so I have visited the tree twice this month. And what a difference a fortnight has made.

The following pictures were taken on November 25 and December 9 and where I can I put similar shots together for comparison. A fortnight ago the leaves were golden but now they are brown and more have fallen to the ground. (more…)

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Colourful leaves of beech (Fagus sylvatica) in Thompson’s Park, Cardiff, at the end of November 2016


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.

In Cardiff we are right at the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, so the days are getting shorter and colder but there are still some colourful leaves remaining on beech trees, a few varieties of maple and even the oak tree I am following, which I will write a post about later this week.

Meanwhile whether you are already a tree follower or not, it could be time to think about finding your tree to follow next year. No rush, you can join in at any time and you don’t really have to do it every single month if that’s too much. (more…)

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