Posts Tagged ‘Nature’


Beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) beside the river Taff in Cardiff


Welcome to my first attempt to provide a monthly tree-following link box after taking over the project from Loose and Leafy. You’ll find the widget at the bottom of the post.

It’s a mixed time of year for the trees here in the UK in the Autumn (or Fall to those of you in North America). Some have lost nearly all their leaves. Some, like the lindens, cast off their lemon-yellow leaves early. Some, like the wonderful maples, are a beautiful red. Some trees still have their seeds attached…

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Cormorant on the riverbank


Cormorant on the River Taff in Cardiff, October 2015

I often fail in my attempts to capture an image of a cormorant or its close relative the shag, but this time the bird was very placid as I watched from the opposite side of the river. In fact looking at the picture I think its tail feathers might be broken. So I am guessing it’s either an old injured bird or a young one not quite fledged. Adults have white patches on their throats and thighs during the breeding season, but it’s not the breeding season, so that doesn’t help. (more…)

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I saw this outside the shop at the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens and thought it was a Paulownia, but it wasn’t – read on to find out what it was…


At first sight the empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) I am following in Cardiff’s Bute Park looked just the same as last month, so I let myself wander a bit.

Another tree nearby had been bugging me, as it also looked like a Paulownia and I really wanted my empress to be unique in this vicinity.

But first an October catch-up with the empress herself.

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New shoots of willowherb among the roots

I eventually decided to pull up the willowherb and enchanter’s nightshade that were seeding all over the gravel bed in the garden and was taken by the tiny red growth starting among the exposed roots of the willowherb, like little ruby roses. (more…)

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A turnstone (Arenaria interpres) at Weymouth, September 2015 – I have tweaked the image a little in PhotoShop for effect

We are just back from a few days in Dorset and I am pleased with some of the pictures I snapped, despite the fact that we had heavy rain at times. The biggest treat for me was spotting some turnstones on a small stretch of seaweed-covered shingle in Weymouth. (more…)

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This street plant is springing up all over Cardiff

I like to see a street plant that’s new to me and this one has been springing up all over the pavements in Cardiff this summer. I think I know what it is but do you want to have a go at naming it before I tell you? (more…)

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Street plants in summer


Bee on some sort of brassica flower beside the street, July 2015

In a normal summer I would expect the street plants of Cardiff to be shrivelled and brown, but we have had so much rain this July and August that the pavements abound with lush greenery. Here are some of my favourite sightings… (more…)

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