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Millstones Wood

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Panthercaps in Millstones Wood

A couple of panthercaps (Amanita pantherina) in Millstones Wood.

I went for a walk with my camera through Millstones Wood at the weekend to get some shots of the panthercaps which are presently abundant beneath the beeches (Fagus sylvatica) in the north-eastern part of the wood. I’d walked through the wood earlier in the week and seen all of the mushrooms but I didn’t have my camera on me, so a repeat visit was called for!

A very young mushroom – an ‘Amanita egg’. At this stage the developing mushroom is still completely contained within the unbroken veil.

This young mushroom has fully emerged from its veil, but the cap has yet to open completely. Fragments of the veil remain attached to the cap forming the distinctive ‘warts’ which are a defining feature of many Amanita species.

According to my copy of Roger Phillips’ Mushrooms, the panthercap’s habitat is “in coniferous or deciduous woodland, especially with beech; summer to autumn. Occasional to frequent.” My mushrooms were found in an area of almost exclusively beech woodland with the occasional oak thrown in. Indeed, I saw one panthercap growing right at the very foot of a mature oak, but all the others were growing from the ground litter typical of beech woodland: old rotten beechnut cupules, old rotten beech leaves, beech twigs – and precious little else. The beech and the panthercap are obviously in mycorrhizal cahoots.

The cap is “finely striate at the margin”...

The panthercap is poisonous, by the way; “may be deadly” according to Phillips.

Exiting Millstones Wood onto the grassy hilltop that commands views of the Little Don and Ewden valleys, marked on the map as The Height, another sort of fungus was common. I counted well over a dozen of these small puffballs dotted about – perhaps the mosaic puffball (Handkea utriformis)? I’m not really sure!

Posted in Gone for a walk

Old photos, new IDs: setting the record straight

When I posted this photo back in September 2009 (‘A late summer’s wander’) I was unsure what species of fungus I’d snapped. Chicken o’ the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) was what I was leaning towards, but I wasn’t 100%. Yesterday I chanced upon a familiar-looking specimen in my mate’s guidebook, Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain & Europe (a Collins Nature Guide). I can now exclusively reveal that the fungus in my photo is a… dyer’s mazegill - Phaeolus schweinitzii (deprecated synonym: Phaeolus spadiceus) - a polypore fungus that forms fruiting bodies on the roots or bases of conifers such as pines, spruces, firs and larches. My specimen was growing at the base of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in Millstones Wood.

I first posted this photo of a ‘caterpillar’ eating one of the treeblog Set A grey alders (Alnus incana) in October 2009 (‘Two species of caterpillar on the grey alders’). I had no idea what species it was but I believed it to be a caterpillar – i.e. the larval form of a moth or butterfly. I discovered a few weeks ago, again by chance, that this attractive creepy-crawly is actually the larval form of the hazel sawfly a.k.a. birch sawfly (Croesus septentrionalis). The larvae feed on hazel, birch and alder leaves and strike this curvaceous pose when disturbed. Interesting fact: true caterpillars have five pairs of prolegs or less, but hazel sawfly larvae have more than five pairs (see this forum page).

Posted in Miscellany

An early spring wander (21st March 2010) (Part Two)

A dead and rotting birch (Betula). I think the little bracket fungi you may be able to make out are birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus), but they’re pretty poor attempts at fruiting bodies.

This picture is classic Millstones Wood through and through: all rocks and twisty beeches.

This particular beech (Fagus sylvatica) has a splendidly green trunk thanks to a coating of enthusiastic leprose lichen.

I rediscovered this larch (Larix, probs decidua) wound. It hasn’t changed much since the last time I remember seeing it, on the 3rd of January 2008. I first saw the wound on the 4th of April 2007 when it was still very fresh.

Blue sky, shadows, Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris), rocks, and bilberry. What more could you want?

This dead branch reminded me of the chair in ‘Jacob’s’ cabin…

I suppose that to most people this is just a photo of a dirt floor - or more precisely, a photo of a woodland floor covered in old pine needles and bits of pine cone. But I hold a sort of weird fascination for this shining gold-silver pattern.

At one end of Millstones Wood, before it peters out into a grassy, trig-point-topped Salter hill, there grow a few stunted Scots pines and larches. Over the stone wall on the right of this photo there is a field full of gorse (Ulex europaeus) that has recently been completely burned, presumably with a view to control / eradicate it. Whether purposefully or accidentally, the fire spread over the wall where it destroyed several of the stunted pines and seriously singed a few more.

This poor pine is like one giant piece of charcoal now.

Pine cone. Victim.

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Early this morning, under the cover of fog, treeblog history was made: grey alders Nos. 2 & 3 were released into the wild in a special covert op! Parts 3 & 4 of Operation Alder shall commence next weekend, all being well, and after that I shall produce a post detailing the daring exploits of these guerrilla plantings!

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The April 2010 edition – #46 – of the Festival of the Trees is now up at Vanessa’s Trees and Shrubs Blog. Go and drink your fill of this monthly pleasure!

Posted in Gone for a walk + The treeblog trees

In the evening sun (20th February 2010)

I like the summ— miss the summer

After finding the way… Millstones Wood in the evening sun.

In the evening sun: the beast of a beech and friends.

In the evening sun: a larch and a beech.

In the evening sun: an oak and a beech.

In the evening sun: Scots pine and beech; and in the foreground, mounds of dead bracken.

In the evening sun: beech (Fagus sylvatica) bark.

In the evening sun: a close look at part of a giant burr on an English oak (Quercus robur).

In the evening sun: the mighty mega-burr in all its tree-consuming glory!

In the evening sun
In the evening sun
In the evening sun

Posted in Gone for a walk

Finding a way (20th February 2010)

Hawthorn (Crataegus, probably monogyna).

Not much snow on Ewden Height.

Snow on a rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) branch.

Linear shadows cast by a cluster of stick-like junior rowans growing around the trunk of their parent.

A stunted larch (Larix, probably decidua) surrounded by rowan saplings. This part of the moor is fenced off, presumably to prevent sheep grazing and thus promote tree regeneration (although one sheep had somehow gotten into the enclosure). Aside from this larch, the trees were mostly young rowans (berries, dispersed by birds), with several birches (tiny seeds, wind-dispersed). I also saw a holly (berries, dispersed by birds) and an oak (acorns, ???!).

This picture brought to you by the nineteenth century. Well, it could be!

Hey Paul, your hat’s falling off. That’s Millstones Wood in the background.

A wee lichen growing on a wee hawthorn. None of the buds on the trees I saw yesterday were showing signs of opening just yet. Give it a month…

Posted in Gone for a walk

Five favourite photos from 2009

A few weeks ago I had a look back through the photos that have appeared on treeblog over the last year and picked out my favourites. Then I agonised over whittling them down to a final five – my five favourite treeblog photos from 2009.

22nd January 2009 The Lonely Oak on Whitwell Moor at sunset. The Lonely Oak, an English or pedunculate oak (Quercus robur), is very probably the tree that I have photographed the most and very probably the tree that has appeared most on treeblog (excluding those that I’ve planted myself). It stands within a half-hour walk of my house, on one of my favoured walking routes; it has tons of character; and it is highly photogenic: it’s the Lonely Oak. This photo originally appeared in the 32nd edition of the Festival of the Trees (February 2009).

2nd February 2009 We received a pretty heavy snowfall at the beginning of last February. This was the first decent amount of snow we’d had in ages so I went on a walk to make the most of it. Out in the fields, the snow was drifting behind the walls. Walking along a footpath hidden beneath this drift, I was ploughing through waist-high snow in places. It was either that or slide down a gorse-covered hill! The wind blowing through the gaps in the dry stone wall was sculpting fantastic shapes… Millstones Wood can be seen in the left half of the background.

21st March 2009 Larch flowers – probably European larch (Larix decidua). The one on the right is a female flower, known colloquially as larch roses – they take a year to ripen into seed-containing cones. (The flower on the left is too undeveloped for me to tell whether it’s a male or female.) I find it quite humbling to think that that last spring was the first time I ever came across these beautiful little flowers. How did I ever manage to miss them before? Spring 2009 was a fantastic spring - loads of surprisingly warm days with amazing clear blue skies. I was regularly out and about making personal discoveries in the shape of alder catkins, hazel, goat willow, and, of course, larch roses. Saturday the 21st of March was one of those glorious halcyon days.

24th May 2009 The 24th of May was a beautiful day in early summer and I went out for a ride on the pushbike. I was cycling down a firebreak in a conifer plantation next to Langsett Reservoir when I spotted this perfect dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) clock almost glowing in the late afternoon sunlight as it filtered weakly through the trees.

12th September 2009 This whopping great fungus was growing from the base of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in Millstones Wood. I didn’t know what species it was at the time, but I now think it’s chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus). [Update (July 2010): Wrong! It’s a dyer’s mazegill (Phaeolus schweinitzii).] I took this photograph on a walk with my dad one lovely day at the end of summer. My main aim for the walk was to collect rowan berries - which are scheduled to be planted as treeblog Set D(r) this March - but it also took in Pike Lowe, Ewden Force, and some incredible moorland along the way. Perfect.

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Five favourite photos from 2007 & Five favourite photos from 2008

Posted in Miscellany

Calm down dear, it’s only winter (3rd January 2010) (Part 2)

I love this dead tree. I love the hill on which it used to grow. I love the view from this hill, especially towards the Ewden Valley and Broomhead Moor and Pike Lowe, all of which I also love. You might have seen this tree before.

[Part 1, sir? – more snow & trees, incl. the Lonely Oak.]

The dead tree stands among a cluster of stunted trees at one end of Millstones Wood. The trees in this photo are all Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) except for the one on the left, which is a beech (Fagus sylvatica).

The setting sun dripped molten gold over the glacial Broomhead Moor but did not thaw that frozen wilderness.

More of those stunted trees…

A wee beech cupule, its two little nuts replaced with one giant snow-nut.

A typical snowy scene inside Millstones Wood.

A whole load of what I’m sure are pine seeds scattered across the snow by a grey squirrel in the canopy above. As it jumped from branch to branch, the snow it dislodged fell in little avalanches to the ground.

I think this was the fallen tree that my and some mates climbed up back in high school days to have our dinner, which would make it the Picnic Tree. These days it’s better known for the frightful cage structure constructed around its exposed root system. Constructed by witches! It is witches, I’m telling you.

The Long Lane Ash (Fraxinus excelsior).

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February’s edition of the Festival of the Trees will be hosted by treeblog! So: people who read or look at or watch or create content on trees on blogs and/or other forms of internetery… please send in your submissions!

Do it.

Posted in Gone for a walk

A wintry walk through the woods (Part 2)

Wintry Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) needles in Millstones Wood.

This post continues on from Part 2

The green leaves of a semi-evergreen bramble or blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) intermingle with the orange, crispy, marcescent leaves of young beech (Fagus sylvatica) trees.

A sort of cage formed by leaning sticks against the jutting-out roots of a fallen beech. Who would make such a structure? Kids? Witches? Wood spirits? A pretty freaky thing to chance upon alone in an empty wood on a late winter’s eve.

But my mind is strong like lion. Fear gave way to curiosity and I climbed that tree. It just made my fingers cold, but I gained a better perspective of the patterns formed by all the twigs lying on the woodland floor.

A typical resident of Millstones Wood: a gnarly old beech.

One snowy tussock.

A dead, stunted pine or larch tree still standing on an exposed edge of the wood. In the background the forested Ewden Valley runs off into the distance. This dead tree made an appearance on treeblog last December; a photo in that post was one of my favourites to appear on treeblog in 2008.

Like I wrote in the last post, it snowed again on Sunday and put down a decent amount. I’ve not been able to get out into the countryside to fully enjoy this proper snow yet (there hasn’t been enough to stop me from getting to work, see) but the white stuff is still here on the moors, on the fields, on the trees, etc… Although the main roads were mostly clear of snow by this afternoon, this evening it put down another inch or so. Heavy snow is forecast for tonight.

It’s going to be a White Christmas.

Posted in Gone for a walk

A wintry walk through the woods (Part 1)

The Long Lane ash. Have a look at it in early October and late November 2008 and early February and late May of this year. I’ve somehow started keeping a record of this tree.

There was a bit of snow put down before the weekend, so I went for a walk up to Millstones Wood yesterday afternoon to partake of the wintry atmosphere. It was biting cold and as I walked up Long Lane I was stung by flurrying microsnow. Once inside the wood, the snow eased off but the temperature fell even lower. It was proper Baltic. The ground was dusted with frozen snow and the footing was alternately slippery then crunchy. A robin flew across my path without stopping to say hello. I climbed partway up a reclining tree, but away from the warmth of a fleecy sleeve my fingers quickly protested the intense cold.

As I neared the other end of the wood more flakes began to fall.

Millstones Wood. Many of the beeches are rendered a vivid green by coatings of leprose lichen.

Leaning larches.

A wee spring that oozes out of the ground beside a large beech was frozen solid. An icy waterfall in miniature.

Almost every tree in this part of the wood is a European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

The frozen floor: twigs, beech leaves and snow.

An evergreen Scots pine breaks up the monotony of bare branches.

This afternoon it snowed again, and really went for it. There’s now a proper covering down. If it snows again in the night and recovers the roads, there is a chance that tomorrow won’t find me at work. It’ll find me roaming abroad with a grin on my face.

Posted in Gone for a walk

A late autumn’s afternoon wander (Part 2)

Autumnal larch (Larix decidua) needles.

Photos taken on Sunday the 15th of November.

To Whitwell Moor…

Could this be… a golden chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)? Y-yes?

Mycological bird-bath.

These are immature amethyst deceivers (Laccaria amethystea). I know they are because I overhead some people in the woods say they were .

A Malus fruit – perhaps a small crab apple? Aah, Millstones Wood – you and your mysterious Maluses!

The Lonely Oak, looking all apocalyptic and stuff. Yeah, but not really. It’s a fake. A fraud. A Photoshop phoney. The sky just wasn’t red at all.

Posted in Gone for a walk

Autumn in Millstones Wood

A beech (Fagus sylvatica) in Millstones Wood. Big in real life, small in this photo.

You hear a lot of people saying how autumn is their favourite season; how nice the leaves look when they’re red and orange and gold. Well, my favourite season is summer. Autumn always feels sort of sad to me. All the good weather, all those hot summer days… those precious few months when all of the countryside is really alive… they’re history once autumn rolls round. Autumn, when all the while winter looms on the horizon. It’s depressing to think how far away spring waits.

I might have just made my outlook sound entirely bleak, but it isn’t really. A heavy snowfall will redeem a whole winter, and autumn does have a certain melancholic charm. And of course I understand the yearly cycle and appreciate its inevitability. But I can’t dream of a better fantasy than one perfect, eternal summer.

Photos taken on Saturday the 31st of October.

A large part of the wood is dominated by beech. Beech leaves decompose a lot more slowly than those of many of the other broadleaved species in Britain. That might be the main reason why the floors of beechwoods have relatively little vegetation compared with other flavours of woodland.

The sky was overcast so the light in the wood wasn’t very good. An old post has some photos that I took on a wander in nicer weather in October 2008 if you’re into that kind of thing.

Is it a beech tree? Is it a space tentacle?

A lovely beech.

A mushroom growing in a patch of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). I reckon it belongs to the same species as the mushrooms in the previous post, but that doesn’t help matters seeing how I dinnae know what bloody species they are.

Eurolarch (Larix decidua): the best non-native, naturalised, deciduous conifer going.

A beech leaf glows orange beneath a wee pool in the crook of a bough-trunk juncture.

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The forty-first edition of the Festival of the Trees is over at Blog do Árvores Vivas. Go read!

Posted in Gone for a walk

Mushrooms and beech leaves

Photos taken this afternoon in the Millstones Wood.

Any idea what species these are? I’m useless at identifying fungi. I need to get myself a decent field guide and get self-improving! I think these might all belong to the Russula genus, but I’m not confident. These mushrooms were: seen in South Yorkshire, England; at the end of October; in an area of woodland composed predominantly of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) with a handful of English oak (Quercus robur).

Posted in Gone for a walk

A late summer's wander

Dyer’s mazegill (Phaeolus schweinitzii) at the base of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris).

This post shall send prose to his room and welcome poetry into the drawing room for a brandy. Let me spin thee the tale of last Saturday:

A Late Summer’s Wander

Late summer’s wander Saturday
Into the Peak our path did lay
On Whitwell Moor ‘neath a rowan, halted
To fill a bag wi’ red berries wanted
Through t’ first wood and up we walked
There wa’ no acorns on t’ Lonely Oak

Cresting t’ hill we entered t’ Wood
Where Millstones lie; it were right good
To find at t’ foot of a Scots Pinus
A great and gnarly yellow fungus
Over t’ lane and out on Thorpe’s Brow
T’ sky seemed somehow bigger now

We strode past ruins of t’ last war
Tanks aimed at targets high up on t’ moor
Long out ahead rose Pike Lowe
A cairn for t’ dead, or so I trow
For much of t’ way rose hummocky grasses
Eek heather and bracken and bogs and mosses
It hurt to see the cairn ruined
A wanton act: a villain’s doing

Now heading south across the heath
Our destination: watersmeet
Ewden Force wa’ running low
As fine a sight as in full flow
Where rowans glow wi’ crimson berries
And for a while t’ walker tarries

In Stainery Clough we traced a road
An ancient trail the river fords
O’er Oaken Clough a giant sags
Of berries now two heaving bags
A rowan great but broke asunder
When it tore it must ha’ thundered

Heath and bracken for miles a’ more
Bare shanks soon are feeling sore
Past t’ shooting lodge and Broomhead Hall
The veteran chestnut of Wigtwizzle
Summer’s fading fast and autumn’s near
Here’s hoping t’ rowans grow next year

A holly (Ilex aquifolium): the last tree before Pike Lowe.

A stunning berry-laden rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) near Ewden Force.

And another. The rowans around here, while absolutely covered with berries, had more or less lost all of their leaves already. Rowan berries seem to be much more abundant and redder than usual this year. I’m loving it.

A shady pool in Oaken Clough. Danger! Midges!

Looking across the Ewden Valley to Thorpe’s Brow on our way home.

Posted in Gone for a walk + The treeblog trees

Out on the moors: to Pike Lowe and beyond! (Part One)

I went out on the moors on Saturday with the intention of making Pike Lowe, and, if I had the time, of finding the mythical waterfall far up the Ewden Beck...

First checkpoint: the Lonely Oak of Whitwell Moor.

It doesn’t appear to be doing too well, our Lonely one. Most of its leaves are crinkled and ragged-looking, whereas the rest of the oaks I saw on my ramble were all healthy. So it’s not a weather thing. I couldn’t find a single developing acorn on any of the oaks, which is disappointing as I was thinking of planting some for treeblog Set D. The red balls on the leaf in the photo are galls.

A Jew’s ear (Auricularia auricular-judae) –like fungus growing on a dead branch attached to a living English oak (Quercus robur) in Millstones Wood.

Also in Millstones Wood, a beast of a beech (Fagus sylvatica). This looks like an old coppice to me. There may not be any acorns this year, but there’s no shortage of beechnuts: the floor was covered with cupules!

Leaving the wood behind, I was confronted with a field full of near fully grown cattle. I had to pass within a metre of these two, but they seemed completely indifferent to my presence. I was glad to avoid a trampling! Broomhead Hall Farm can be seen across the valley in the background.

Developing hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) fruit, or haws. The hawthorns hereabouts were in full flower at the end of May / beginning of June.

Looking back across the moors to Millstones Wood from near the summit of Pike Lowe, just over an hours walk away!

The cairn on the summit of Pike Lowe (OS grid. ref. SK 208 974 or 53.4726° N, 1.6865° W), 476 metres above sea level. So close to civilisation, yet so isolated.

Posted in Gone for a walk

A walk in the sun (Part 4): back through Millstones Wood

Three and a half weeks after my walk in the sun on the lovely first of June, in this final post of a quartet, I invite you to once more join me in retracing my steps via the medium of photography. In Part 1 I walked over Whitwell Moor; in Part 2 I set off down the salt path into the Ewden valley; in Part 3 I followed the salt path to Mortimer road; and in Part 4 we shall climb back up the valley-side to Millstones Wood.




The body of water to the right is Broomhead Reservoir. Millstones Wood occupies the horizon to the left of the signpost.

A common or English bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), the native bluebell of the British Isles. The English bluebell is threatened by hybridisation on a large scale with the non-native Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica).

Millstones Wood, lying one buttercup-filled field away.

Young master oak - probably an English oak (Quercus robur).

A shaggy-looking European larch (Larix decidua).

The floor of the wood was covered with these: the fallen male catkins of European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

Two catkins still on the tree, along with a developing cupule holding two beechnuts.

The fierce sun beating down through the needles and branches of a pine.

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris).

Posted in Gone for a walk

A walk in the snow (2nd February 2009): Part Two

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) to the left of me, European larch (Larix decidua) to the right...

A row of most snowy beeches (Fagus sylvatica).

In the heart of Millstones Wood...

Out in the fields, the snow was drifting behind the walls. Walking along a footpath hidden beneath this drift, I was ploughing through waist-high snow in places. It was either that or slide down a gorse-covered hill! The wind blowing through the gaps in the dry stone wall was sculpting fantastic shapes – this and the next photograph have been altered to highlight these.

More snow-sculpture. The oft-mentioned Millstones Wood can be seen in the left half of the background.

Near Ewden Height, and the snow was coming thick and fast. The bush in the foreground is gorse (Ulex europaeus) – a.k.a. whin or furze.

Millstones Wood again. Beech, beech, and more beech.

Posted in Gone for a walk

A walk in the snow (2nd February 2009): Part One

Everything was white.

It snowed pretty heavily Sunday night and most of Monday up here - probably the biggest snowfall in our local area in seven or eight years. It put down a good six or seven inches in our garden; the roads were covered; the treeblog trees were covered; the roofs and lawns and trees and bushes were covered; the hillside was covered. Everything was white. So as a dedicated lover of snow, while the rest of the UK was plunged into chaos (according to the tabloid press), I strapped myself into snow-proof attire and headed for the countryside...

My first port of call: the ‘first wood’ on Whitwell Moor. The trees prominent in the foreground are Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris), but this part of the wood also contains plenty of beech (Fagus sylvatica), English oak (Quercus robur), and larch (Larix decidua).

This split English oak on the edge of the wood featured heavily in a mid-January treeblog post on galls.

Snowy holly (Ilex aquifolium) leaves – those Christmas card favourites.

Hello! It’s the Lonely Oak, last seen with a bit on snow on treeblog in January 2008.

Snow-packed Scots pine needles.

A pair of heavily snow-laden beeches in Millstones Wood, a veritable winter wonderland.

The view south-west from the southern edge of Millstones. Ewden Beck courses through the wooded valley, which splits Broomhead Moor on the left from Upper Commons on the right.

It didn’t snow on Tuesday or Wednesday, so the roads cleared up. But we got another inch or so on Thursday morning. It’s Friday afternoon as I write this and there has been no fresh snow today. The roads are clear, but the gardens and pavements are still covered. To be continued...

Posted in Gone for a walk

Deadwood at twilight (6th December 2008)

I took a walk with my father yesterday afternoon. We followed near enough the same route as my walk two Fridays ago. The weather was near enough the same too, the only difference being it wasn’t quite so cold. I took the following photos in the space of fifteen minutes between four and half past, not long after the sun had set.

At the trig point end of Millstones Wood, as it peters out, there is group of stunted larches and pines. There are a couple of skeletons too, ghosts of trees that died auld lang syne, but whether they were larches or pines, or one of each, I do not know. They are the subjects of the first five photos.

Can you make out the face of a devil in the middle of the knotted deadwood silhouetted against the sky? It’s pretty freaky, man.

Away from the stunted trees now, a big pine blocked out what little light was still afforded by the sky.

The distinctive feathery outline of a beech, and in the background the moors of the Peak District.

P.S. This month's edition of the Festival of the Trees is up at A Neotropical Savanna. Go read! I have volunteered to host February's edition here at treeblog!

Posted in Gone for a walk

A wander in Millstones Wood (24th October 2008)

I went for a wander in the Millstones Wood this afternoon. We’re well and truly into Autumn now. I know, I’ve seen it… and I have evidence:

(The photos in this post can be viewed at a higher resolution – click them to open their Flickr pages, then click the 'All sizes' button.)

The Sun shines through the soon-to-be-bare branches of beeches yet hung with green and gold leaves.

I reckon this burnt-looking thing is some kind of fungus. I’ve seen them in the same woods but in spring-time, so I don’t know if they can appear like this all year round or whether they have some amazing ability to stick around through the winter. I also wonder if they only look like this dead and shrivelled, or if this is how they actually grow. Can you, dear reader, satisfy my queries? Email’s at top o’ page.

A reclining beech.

Another reclining beech. Judging by how its roots haven’t regrown, I’d say it’s either not been down long or it went over quickly.

This beech branch hung so low that its lowest point was covered by earth. It may have then put down roots and become an independent tree – a process known as ‘layering’.

Picturesque larches in front of an outcropping of millstone grit.

Good old semi-natural mixed woodland. I can see pine, oak and beech in this photo and there is larch just out of shot on the right.

This bark around a hollow in the trunk of a massive old fallen rowan is riddled with pellets from an air rifle. Someone’s been doing a lot of shooting.

Posted in Gone for a walk

A walk in Millstones Wood (4th June 2008)

big blue sky and a wood in the distance

Walking up Long Lane to Millstones Wood you pass by two small woods on Whitwell Moor. This is the second.

leaves and the remains of flowers

These are parts of a tree I've seldom seen in Millstones Wood. I think it's a crab apple (Malus sylvestris), but I'm not certain. Can anybody ID this for me?

beech leaves overhead

Little sunlight penetrates the beech canopy. A typical characteristic of the average beechwood is a shady floor.

beech trees

Beeches. The many-branched beech to the left was probably grazed as a sapling which prevented it from growing with a single main stem.

strange carving in bark

Not sure what this is supposed to symbolise, or if it's just pure art, but I found it carved into one of the trees.

male pine inflorescence with whorl of needles

A male inflorescence and accompanying whorl of needles on a Scots pine.

close-up of female pine flower

The female flower of a Scots pine, only a few millimetres in height. In a couple of years this small red blob will have matured into a hard, woody pine cone. treeblog has already done a post on Scots pine reproductive organs (about this time last year).

stunted pines

Stunted pines on the top of the hill, just outside of the wood. Although I think only pines can be seen in this photo, there is at least one larch in the group.

Peak District landscape

From the vantage point beneath this pine, enjoy the view in the general direction of Sheffield and take in some of the Peak District landscape typical to my local area. In the foreground is a field of strangely neat gorse.

Posted in Gone for a walk

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