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Vintage: I was thinking of clothing or cars until I read an article by William Gibson and he referred to vintage science fiction – I realised I had some on my shelves. These covers from Fantastic in 1959 and 1977 showed how little changed until comparatively recently – both covers depict attractive women as victims of alien terror… Click on the picture to read the William Gibson interview in the Guardian

Last month I signed up for the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt hosted by Eileen on her A Bracelet of Days blog. Here’s her introduction to the hunt. (more…)

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The twigs on the right belong to my latest subject for tree following, in Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay


Well here we are again – a new year and a need to find a new tree to follow in 2020. I think I decided a couple of months ago, despite the fact that I am breaking all my own “rules” and once more going for a group of trees rather than a magnificent solo tree (I had such good intentions when I first followed a tree in 2014 – here)…

I have been interested in these trees in Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay, since I noticed the fruits for the first time in autumn and managed to identify the species – Turkish hazel or Turkish filbert (Corylus colurna).

Clearly it’s not native here but this public space seems to be full of them. They have interesting catkins in spring and nuts in autumn so I am looking forward to taking more notice of these street tree specimens throughout 2020. (more…)

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Here is my final round-up of tree news articles from around the world in 2019. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Frankincense trees are being tapped out

The National Geographic reports on a threat to supplies of fragrant Frankincense resin in Somaliland…

Appeal supports tree eco-therapy

As part of Trees for Life’s Rewild and Recover programme, refugees as well as people coping with poor mental health or homelessness can plant native saplings, helping the charity to rewild 10,000 acres of the Highlands. This is one of the charities supported by a Guardian appeal…


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I stood here: The sculpture ‘People Like Us’ by John Clinch in Mermaid Quay represents the people of Tiger Bay in the days when this was a thriving port – when I stood here I didn’t notice I had framed the Norwegian Church in the background

I have absolutely no imagination, so to try to kick-start my thinking I have decided to join in with the Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt hosted by Eileen on her A Bracelet of Days blog. Here’s her introduction to the hunt. (more…)

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One of the cards I sent out this year, from the RSPB – Moon Gazing Hare by Judith Yates – I’m not sure why hares have become Christmas symbols…

After a hectic 2019 at work – and a year dogged by my husband’s ill health, from meningitis to his imminent hip replacement (we hope), it’s time to sit back and admire all the Christmas cards we have received. Here are just a few of the designs that caught my eye. As usual, click on the image to go to the source – mostly charities. (more…)

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The London plane of Mermaid Quay in December


As the year comes to its end I have to say goodbye to the London plane tree (Platanus × hispanica or Platanus × acerifolia) in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, that I have followed through the months of 2019.

I include some pictures from earlier in the year in this post, after my December observations.

The last month has been cold or wet or windy and sometimes all three, and we have had one or two overnight frosts and a couple of foggy starts to the day. I caught a crisp, sunny spell on my visit to take the latest pictures. (more…)

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Bare branches of a Turkish hazel tree (Corylus colurna) next to the Water Tower feature in Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month.

As we reach the end of 2019 in South Wales the weather has been changeable. It has been lightly frosty for a week or so with red skies morning and night and occasional fog. But in the last month there have been other days with rain and wind, when the temperatures have risen to double figures.

You will find everyone’s updates below, so enjoy exploring…

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – quince – the last leaf

Flighty’s Plot – Liz’s witch hazel in Lexington, Kentucky, and Mike’s apple tree

Hollis – In the Company of Plants and Rocks – Russian hawthorn at the University of Wyoming – and a possible tree for 2020

Frances at Island Threads, off the North West coast of Scotland – hawthorn and ideas for 2020

JayP – Amblings around Penwith (Cornwall) – flowering dogwood – golden leaves and dessert for squirrels

Erika Groth in Sweden – aspens – and house goblins in winter

Pat – Squirrelbasket – the London plane of Mermaid Quay, Cardiff

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

You could start looking for a tree to observe right now. Why not join us in 2020? Just point us to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box published on the 7th of each month and lasting for a week. Although we all try to publish every month, we are very forgiving if you post less often.

See you next month – and next year…

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