Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Tree Fruits

In my previous post- "Tree Seeds, Nuts or Fruits?"- I concentrated on the less fruit-like fruits. In this one, I will show some images of these more fruity ones that have caught my eye on walks over the last couple of months.

First, here is the trunk of a gnarled, ancient-looking Mulberry tree, which is actually bearing succulent fruits. It stands in Stratford-Upon-Avon, in the garden of Shakespeare's Birthplace- not to be confused with another one in the grounds of New Place- where he died in 1616- which is claimed to be a cutting from a tree planted by Shakespeare himself.

And here are some of the fruits, though these happen to be ones on a tree in nearby Leamington Spa, where I was the following day:

When I was walking by the River Avon in the outskirts of Bath, I came across this Damson tree, in what once must have been an orchard:

On this same walk, but alongside the towpath of the Canal, there were these Slow berries. Finding the colour blue in nature, whether in flowers or fruits, is somehow always exciting- and Slows always enchant me with both this colour and their wonderful bloom:

These Elder berries were growing below the railway line, that runs parallel with- and between- the river and the canal:

The Rose hips were prolific in the hedgerows by the canal, making me regret having missed seeing their flowers- the fragile Dog Roses- in the early Summer:

These amazing Hawthorn berries also made me regret having missed their May Blossom:

These next two photos of Hawthorn berries were actually taken not in Bath but where I am staying at present, in Manorbier, on the South-West coast of Wales:

Wherever I've been in the country I've seen Rowan trees covered with berries- but these ones are on a little tree in my brother's garden in Bath:

Now this next image seems right out of season- we expect to see Holly berries ripe at Christmas, not in September. Seeing them now is like seeing Christmas decorations in the shops in the Summer- in fact, I was horrified to hear that this year Harrods opened its Santa's Grotto in July, 151 days before Christmas! In Valentines Park in Ilford the Holly trees were weighed down with their non-seasonal fruit:

My later childhood years were spent on the Malvern Hills, which mark the boundary between Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Both counties have wonderful orchards but the Apple orchards in Herefordshire (Cider making country) were memorable. Apple trees remind me of those rural days. These first two photos, however, were of a tree I saw on my Bath walk, in the same area as the Damson tree:

Whereas this next one- actually a Worcester apple tree- was in the garden of my friends' house in Stratford-Upon-Avon:

And this last charming little Russet apple tree is in the garden in Manorbier where I am now:

And here are some of its apples...

And these rosy ones are on a nearby tree:

This last green apple is a Bramley in Stratford-Upon-Avon:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Conkers

I have already shown photos of conkers this year in my recent post about trees' fruits- but knowing how mad I am about them you won't be surprized to see them again. At present I am house/dog sitting for friends by the sea in Pembrokeshire. Walking home this morning I was pleased to see conkers scattered on the drive approaching the house, fallen from a row of tall Horse Chestnuts. When I opened the case of one, I was delighted to find that there were "twins" inside:

Now, one of the charms of conker twins is that one surface- the inner surface where the two entities face eachother- is flattened, forming two hemispheres:

Looking at them, childhood memories flooded back: this flattened surface made them ideal to turn into miniature chairs. One just stuck pins in them for the legs and then pins for the backs, through which one wove wool: and hey presto you had a Fifties styled chair- though in fact we children were constructing them in the Forties, so were designers ahead of our times! Always carrying pins with me, I was tempted to see if the method still worked...

I can't wait for my Granddaughter to be old enough to play with pins!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tree Shadows

To state the obvious, there is something totally magical in the way light can affect the appearance of an object, this being made full use of in the theatre as well as in paintings. Nowhere is this transformation more striking than among trees, when the sun is going in and out of the clouds: one moment you see a simple, statuesque tree, the next a column decorated with wondrous patterns and shapes. Here I am going to show some that I have seen over the last few months in the UK, where this Summer the shadows have been rare because of a lack of sunshine!

As any of my followers will by now know, I am particularly fond of Conker (Horse Chestnut) trees, so am starting with the shadows of their leaves on trees in Ilford's Valentines Park- I find them reminiscent of Japanese paintings:

Whereas on the Conker tree the shadows were of the tree's own leaves, this next tree is decorated with those of a neighbouring Privet hedge:

Next are the paler, more delicate Oak leaf patterns on an Oak tree trunk:

And here are more Oak leaf shadows, mixing with the bark's texture on a very gnarled old tree:

Here the shadows of this Plane tree spread down its trunk onto the grass:

And now for the Impressionistic effect on a Copper Beech:

Here beside the River Leam in Leamington Spa, is a watery-shadowed Weeping Willow tree:

And back in Ilford's Valentines Park, the bold shapes on this wonderfully sculptural Deodar:

To conclude, I will show you the shadows made by four Lime trees in Valentines Park: