Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category


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’


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


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


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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New leaf of alder (Alnus glutinosa)


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 June 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 Wales we have had quite a bit of sunshine but there have been strong north-easterly breezes for weeks now, which add a chill to the air early and late in the day. We usually have damp, warm south-westerly winds, coming in off the Atlantic. I wonder what the weather has been like in your part of the world? (more…)

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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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