At the foot of the tree

If you grew up in England when I did, a very long time ago, there’s a good chance that you had nature study classes. If you lived in a town, perhaps that meant a crocodile walk to the nearest park. Mine was, and even though I moved away I live close to that same park now. I loved the huge trees then and I was heartbroken when many of the ancient beings were lost in the 1987 hurricane.

I think the main reason for those classes was some respite for teachers while little horrors like me got to let off some steam. I knew the names of all the trees back then, but somewhere at the end of childhood I forgot most of them.

Luckily there’s a green at the bottom of my road. I once counted more than twenty varieties of trees there but only know what half of them are. Today I stopped in my tracks when I saw these unfolding leaf buds.  It most likely is a native tree, but the complementary colours opposite on the colour wheel and their striking form made them something different to me.

Tina set the Lens Artist challenge theme this week, with ‘Something different‘. Her cactus photos are amazing but I love the pink flowers.

A new orchard

How long does it take for an apple tree to reach maturity? I hope that in a few years I can try the fruit of every one of the young trees that have been planted in the valley park. Yes, an orchard’s worth of trees, I counted 22, each different varieties. They are all old English varieties, most local to the south west and some from just a few miles away.

There’s Farmer’s Glory, a Devon eating or cooking apple, that stores for three months. Exeter Cross, a mix of Worcester Pearmain and Beauty of Bath, an early fruit. Star of Devon comes from Broadclyst, just around four miles from the valley and the fruit lasts until March.
I’ll be watching these young trees grow, isn’t it wonderful that orchards are being created again?


ludwelllife.org.uk

Close up at the valley park

Ana-Christine has picked a very popular theme for the lens artist challenge this week’ it’s close up. She’s also made it very inclusive by highlighting how you don’t need an expensive camera.I’ve only taken my camera out once this year, but my phone is always with me.
With the challenge in mind I walked the dogs at the valley park yesterday.


I’m fascinated by the form and colour of lichen, the tiny drops of dew were a bonus. My phone has a selective focus option, and while I could have got a better result with my camera, Flora and George would have had more time to get into mischief!

Lens Artist Challenge

Patti, do you remember the song Fijian Girl? Your photos reminded me, but I know that shows my age!

Here are my ‘Nature’ photos for Patti’s Lens Artist Challenge this week.

If you stretch your imagination, you might see the M that I see, M for Meg who will like this cliff in north Devon.

This tiny snail is perfectly formed, a young Fibonacci in the making.

One of England’s prettiest wild flowers, and one with medicinal properties, containing digitalin.

I captured a magical vertical cloud.

Also for Meg, the odd place on the south Devon coast where the white chalk stone of Beer ends and the red sandstone of Seaton begins.

Join Patti here.

 

Frost in Exeter

Now I know that many of you experience months of frost and snow every winter, but recently it’s only occurred three or four times a year here. So I rarely get a chance to take icy photos. This morning my car told me it was -1 degrees, and the ground over in the fields was frozen. It was a brilliant blue sky day though and the frost in the hedgerows was slowly melting.

 
Apparently it will rain for the next seven days now, so I’m glad I caught the pretty cold stuff while I could. Rain means a temperature rise of eight to ten degrees, thanks goodness because the heat wasn’t working in my office on Friday, not much fun sitting still in 14 degrees!

In the valley park

Hedge laying is an ancient skill, it’s been around since the 16th century when landowners had to contain their livestock, because of the acts of enclosure. Different styles of laying can be seen around the country, and laying takes place in winter when there are no birds nesting and before the sap rises.

When I walked in the valley park this morning, the hedge between what I call the middle and bottom fields, had been recently laid. It’s opened up the view from the middle field at the rear of this photo way across the hills on the west of the estuary.

I’m glad the skills are still kept alive, but I can’t help wondering what the foxes make of it.