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Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city
(The Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer in the City)

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After cool and wet weather last month, we have had a heatwave for a few weeks here in Cardiff and one day, for the first time, I noticed the bright dappled shadow of the London plane (Platanus × hispanica or Platanus × acerifolia) I am following in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay.

The tree itself has not changed much in the last month but I have noticed the new Greek street food cafe beneath it has been open during the day on a few occasions, particularly when we had a three-day food festival in the nearby Roald Dahl Plass. (more…)

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Alder (Alnus glutinosa) in July

It’s that time again for the monthly tree-following link box, which will stay open for your tree-related links until 7pm GMT on July 14. You can find the box at the bottom of this post. AND APOLOGIES I THOUGHT I HAD SCHEDULED THIS TO PUBLISH ON TIME BUT IT DIDN’T! I will leave it open for a few days extra to make sure no one loses out. Oops!

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

After a cool early June the jetstream has moved north to hold back the Arctic air and we have had a heatwave here in Cardiff. For the first time I have had to unpack the expanding hose I bought too late last summer. The garden appreciated the thorough soaking, especially the container plants, and a young robin invited me to give it a gentle shower.

I will post about my London plane in Mermaid Quay later in the week – but in the mean time I look forward to reading everyone’s news.

Why not join us and follow a tree throughout the year? Although we all try to publish every month, we are very forgiving if you post less often. Point to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box below. And please don’t forget to leave a comment.

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A few more books I might not have picked up had it not been for the Reading Challenge

It has been a long journey but I have finally completed the Reading Challenge on Shaz’s Jera’s Jamboree blog – I signed up in January 2017.

It’s a way of getting out of your comfort zone of always reading the same sorts of books and I pledged to tick off EVERY box in each section of the challenge. I have logged my progress here. I am continuing to note all the books I read and where possible I have linked in to reviews.

For the record, here are the last half dozen books that have enabled me to tick the boxes… (more…)

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The street food cafe under the plane in Mermaid Quay has changed hands – here it is being repainted on May 20

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Although the London plane (Platanus × hispanica or Platanus × acerifolia) I am following in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, has changed little in the last month, nearby there is a lot going on.

Around the corner on Roald Dahl Plass (which used to be called the Oval Basin), from May 27 to June 1, there was the Urdd National Eisteddfod, a Welsh language youth festival of words and music. (more…)

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Green cherries in late May on one of the magnificent white-flowering trees around County Hall in Cardiff Bay

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The tree-following link box has now closed for another month. It’s very cool and wet for June here in Cardiff and I managed to visit my London plane in Mermaid Quay without getting my camera wet. You will find everyone’s updates below, so enjoy exploring.

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here. Why not join us? 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.

Here are the all-important links from this month’s tree followers…

Erika Groth in Sweden – aspens

Frances at Island Threads, off the North West coast of Scotland – hawthorn

Andrew – Kind Hearts and Corydalis – Oliver the oak

Hollis – In the Company of Plants and Rocks – still unknown! maybe it doesn’t matter

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

Alison at the Blackberry Garden – a game of two halves

Pat – Squirrelbasket – the London plane of Mermaid Quay

We always love to read your tree news – so thank you to everyone who contributed this month. See you all again on July 7. Why not join us and follow a tree throughout the year? Although we all try to publish every month, we are very forgiving if you post less often.

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In The Balance – a bronze by J A Stevenson on the front of the Old NatWest Building in Bute Street, Cardiff Bay

I try to post about subjects other than nature occasionally, but I am finding I have so little spare time these days! However, I have no excuse for ignoring the architecture when I pass so many interesting buildings most days as I walk over to Cardiff Bay for my lunchtime sandwich.

My walk usually takes me along the southern end of Bute Street, now rather run-down but with hopes of regeneration. (more…)

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Female blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) eating mahonia berries in the garden this spring

I’m afraid I am growing complacent about the birds in my garden – seen one baby robin in spring and you have seen them all! However, there are always some comparative rarities to be captured on camera. (more…)

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