From Little Acorns

I often take photographs of what I refer to as ‘My Oak Tree’.  Of course the old oak tree isn’t mine, it is part of nature.  The tree isn’t even in my garden; it is in the garden beyond the bridle path that runs behind my house.  I am very fond of the tree and it provides beauty and interest throughout each of the seasons of the year.  It is now so large that its branches completely span the bridle path and reach into the back corner of my garden.

A recent comment on my blog mentioned that it was a shame about the ivy growing on the trunk because it would kill the tree.  I used to think that too but, since I first thought that several years ago, the tree has grown around 10 feet (3.048 meters) and I noticed many trees in Shropshire sharing their space with ivy so I have dismissed the idea.

After the recent blog comment I decided to check the facts. I found that ivy is not a parasite and it does not kill the tree. The aerial roots are not penetrative and the ivy’s roots are firmly in the ground beneath the tree.  The relationship between tree and ivy is symbiotic.  The ivy attracts wildlife so the oak tree is always full of life. Visitors to my tree include blue tits, great tits, coal tits, wrens, sparrows, blackbirds, pigeons, insects and, on one memorable occasion, a poplar hawk-moth descended and settled on me just above my waist.  This was quite alarming because poplar hawk-moths are quite large (wingspan 65-90 mm).  Luckily it didn’t flap around like moths normally do; it just glided in and came to rest gently.  It was coaxed off me and went to settle inside the kitchen for a short time before going back to its natural habitat outside.

I have both memories and photos of beautiful sunsets through the branches of the tree and of sitting in the garden watching the sun go down.  Of hearing the leaves rustle in the wind watching the seasons go by.  Of the rebirth of the leaves and buds in spring, the green of summer, the autumnal hues followed by the winter view.  The weather in autumn determines how quickly the dead leaves fall from the tree; in some years the winter view is bare branches or, in others, there is a golden glow throughout winter due to the leaves not falling from the branches.

I have always had a fondness for trees because of many childhood walks where my dad encouraged me to identify different trees by their bark and leaves. I have got a bit rusty on tree identification since then but I still enjoy woodland walks and immersing myself in the beauty of magnificent trees and the wildlife they attract.

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Impatiently Waiting for Spring

A few days ago when I returned home from work I was greeted by a nice surprise, the green shoots of the daffodils in my garden had poked their heads through the soil.  The daffodils will soon be showing their sunny yellow faces, a sure sign that spring is just around the corner.  I have noticed the days getting warmer and drawing out too.  The sun now has his hat on more often.  One of my favourite sounds, the bird’s morning chorus is getting louder and more persistent.

I can see the beginnings of new growth on the trees, waiting to burst forth in all their glory.  I have even seen one or two large bumble bees out and about searching for pollen.

I can almost feel spring in the air…

Spring, with its fresh colours and new growth, brings fresh hope.  Out with the old and in with the new.  I am reminded of woodland walks with spring flowers beneath the boughs of the trees.  I am also reminded that it will soon be possible to visit gardens again; I always miss those visits during the winter months.  I will see again the sun setting behind my oak tree in all its glorious hues.

The thought of spring has even spurred me on to start de-cluttering, spring cleaning and move things on that are no longer required.  I am also inspired to get started on decorating the house and some other general maintenance that needs attention.  It will soon be time to get out in my garden and start tidying that up too by weeding, sorting, pruning and planting.  I am looking forward to sitting in my garden and enjoying soaking up the atmosphere with a good book and a nice cup of tea.  Or perhaps I could be tempted to a glass of wine depending on the time of day.

Spring is almost, but not quite, here…

I am impatiently waiting…