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Posted on February 1, 2009 by Ash
Hello there. Welcome to the February 2009 edition of the Festival of the Trees, hosted with great pride by your humble treeblog. Take my hand, hold it tight; and walk with me through Festival Forest. Over there, do you see them? Photographs! And whatís that by yon grizzled oak? A poem? There, by that pair of silver birches Ė see those videos? And all about us the branches hang heavy with a fine crop of blog posts, ripe for the reading! Perhaps today Iíll be able to show you a bark rubbing - ah! Sorry for getting your hopes up: a bark rubbing has never been seen in this forest before...
Let us begin with a stunning winter photograph because after all, in Britain at least, we are fast in the grip of winter.
The yew at Strata Florida Abbey is one of Caroline of Coastcardís favourite trees. The ruined abbey, founded in 1164, is the traditional burial place of the great medieval poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, to whom there is a memorial beneath said yew. Also near the tree, which has been damaged by storms and struck by lightning, stands an unusual headstone marking the grave of a leg. The brilliant poem, Lament for a Leg, by John Ormond elaborates, and as the poem includes the yew Ė and did I mention it was brilliant? Ė I shall post it here in full (or rather, copy it from Poem of the Week):
A short service, to be sure,
One of my own favourite trees is the lonely oak on Whitwell Moor, or as Iíve started to think of it as, the Lonely Oak. Growing happily beside a path, Iíve walked by this stunted English oak (Quercus robur) more times than I can remember, and I always stop to say hello. I suppose I only began taking notice of the lonely one as an individual two or three years ago, but I would have been past it even as a young child ontí way tí trig point. Itís a great little windswept tree.
The Lonely Oak at sunset (22nd January 2009).
From a favourite tree to a favourite tree-eater. Dave of Via Negativa profiles the North American porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) - replete with video of a porky pine troughing some eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)! I also heartily recommend his poem, Questions for the Porcupine.
Vicky of TGAW celebrates the fifth anniversary of the reloakation of Old Glory, a big old valley oak (Quercus lobata) in California. Itís an incredible story, and Iíll let Vicky have the telling of it; but if you havenít heard about this beforeÖ prepare to be amazed! The Hertford Tree Memorial Park, the subject of another post at TGAW, is a place where trees are planted in the memory of late loved ones.
Four tree species are put under the spotlight in a quartet of spiffing posts: Seabrooke of the Marvellous in Nature handles the eastern white pine (Pinus strobes); Mary of A Neotropical Savanna takes on one of the autograph trees (Clusia pratensis); Zhakee of Sierra Nevada Ramblings addresses the California sycamore (Platanus racemosa); and Jennifer of A Passion for Nature has the eastern hemlock covered Ė aye, that old porcupine favourite.
Over at local ecologist, Georgia recollects her favourite trees, which range from fruit trees to baobabs. One of Karen of Ruralityís favourite trees is the monkey cigar tree (Catalpa speciosa), a catalpa with interesting seed pods. Karen also asks what the heck is that spongy black fungus?
Visit Drawing the Motmot for an extraordinary view from the canopy of the Amazonian rainforest, and then head over to the South Florida Watershed Journal where Robert shares what is really the opposite perspective of a different flavour of giant trees at Big Cypress Bend - one of only two stands of old growth cypress remaining in southern Florida. Also in the SFWJ: a short video of two pileated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) pecking a slash pine (Pinus elliottii).
Hereís another poem, by Dave Lewis of the Welsh Poetry Competition. It is called Hope.
I went to the forest
The Lonely Oak shrouded in mist (29th January 2009).
Susannah of Wanderiní Weeta asks how do you recognise a healthy forest? One indicator is a large amount of dead and decaying material, which means nutrients are being recycled back into the soil to be made available for other organisms. Go and have a wander through the deadwood Ė and woodpecker peckings.
I once took a physics course, at the end of which the professor had only one question: How far can you go into a forest?
The Lonely Oak in summer (12th August 2007).
Thatís it for this monthís edition of the Festival of the Trees. I hope that your time was spent in an enjoyable manner, and that you found something interesting! Next monthís Festival will be hosted by Georgia of local ecologist. Send your submissions to info [at] localecology [dot] org, or use the online submission form. The deadline is the 27th of February.
Common alder (Alnus glutinosa) bark rubbing (31st January 2009).
16 comments for Festival of the Trees 32
February 1, 2009 - 16:03 GMT
Great festival, wonderful blog! Thanks for the labor of love.
February 1, 2009 - 16:07 GMT
Quite delightful. My first visit, and won't be my last. I love trees.
February 2, 2009 - 00:44 GMT
Found this via Georgia's local ecology blog. Love it! Love trees. Thanks for the nifty post. Looking forward to #33!
February 2, 2009 - 16:37 GMT
Thank you so much for featuring my Lonely Frosty Tree photo from Mid Wales, your comments are very much appreciated!
February 2, 2009 - 21:50 GMT
Wow! Congrats on scoring the festival's first bark rubbing!!! And thanks for a great post! :)
February 3, 2009 - 21:28 GMT
Thanks for the comments folks - much appreciated. I'm glad you've been enjoying the Festival!
February 4, 2009 - 14:05 GMT
Great job! Thanks for including me.
February 4, 2009 - 21:22 GMT
Beautiful. The photographs and pictures are breathtaking.
February 5, 2009 - 01:38 GMT
What a wonderful compilation! Thank you for putting this together so that we all may enjoy it. Kudos to all involved for their works.
February 9, 2009 - 16:53 GMT
Nicely done- thanks for putting it all together.
February 21, 2009 - 18:29 GMT
Well done....one of the best FOT's I've seen :)
December 5, 2009 - 22:16 GMT
Your photos are stellar.
March 5, 2010 - 12:21 GMT
Beautiful photos, especially the lonely oak ones... Took me while to work out the bark rubbing one though... initially I thought it was a snow clad trunk!
July 11, 2010 - 00:20 GMT
Nice artwork of the trees. Well done.
August 19, 2010 - 21:42 GMT
Those photos are just amazing! thank's so much for posting them. I really think that it would be nice if we could have more pictures like this showing what kind of nature and beauty is out there.
November 16, 2011 - 16:46 GMT
Quite interesting. Just found your website. You have good information here. I will be back.
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Don't burn Eucalyptus in a wood burning stove...we spent days scraping out the gum which was like treacle..nice clear sinuses though!
So it has another 200 years to catch up with the Meikleour hedge! The Meikleour one is stupendous-just a sheer wall of green. I've driven past it a few times, but I've never had a chance to stop for pictures. I was hugging trees at Scone-a nice atmosphere, although there were not too many there....
The beech hedge is pretty cool. Did you know it was planted in 1906? I keep meaning to make a visit to the massive one at Meikleour. I'll get around to it one day... I heard about the tree hugging record attempt through Twitter (I think) - RBGE Edinburgh was one of the locations. I'd quite liked to...
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