2 posts tagged with

Sambucus - the elders

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Derwent Dam tree photographs

alder in front of Derwent Dam

Alders (Alnus glutinosa) in front of Derwent Dam.

Derwent Reservoir, in the center of the Peak District, has quite an unusual style of dam wall. Instead of the grassy embankments used to dam most reservoirs in the vicinity of the Peak District, the dam wall at Derwent (and neighbouring Howden Reservoir) is much steeper and faced with huge stone blocks. Large gothic towers loom at either end of the dam wall, and in wet weather, water overflows between the towers and cascades down the great stone wall in a magnificant spectacle.

elder inflorescence in front of Derwent Dam

Elder (Sambucus nigra) inflorescence in front of Derwent Dam.

During World War II, Derwent Reservoir was used for bombing practice by the RAFs 'Dambusters' (617 Squadron). The dam at Derwent was used as it was of a similar design to those in Germany's Ruhr Valley, which were to be the target of RAF bombing raids; with the dams destroyed and the reservoirs empty, it was hoped that German industry would be seriously impeded and thus their war effort hampered.

rowan (mountain ash) in front of Derwent Dam

Rowan a.k.a. mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) in front of Derwent Dam.

The barrel-shaped 'bouncing bombs' used by the Dambusters were designed by Barnes Wallis. The bombs were dropped spinning rapidly backwards at a low altitude in order for them to bounce over the reservoir surface to reach the dam wall. They would then spin downwards to the base of the wall before detonating.

Scots pine in front of Derwent Dam

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in front of Derwent Dam.

I visited Derwent Dam this afternoon and took these photographs. Thanks to the recent very wet weather, the water rushing down the dam wall made for a very impressive sight.

hawthorn above Derwent Dam

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) above Derwent Dam.


Posted in Gone for a walk





Blackford Hill gallivanting (3rd May 2007)

young sycamore leaves

Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) - flower and new leaves.

young sycamore leaves - backlit

Young sycamore leaves backlit by the Sun.

early elder inflorescence

Early elder (a.k.a. elderberry) (Sambucus nigra) inflorescence.

young sycamore leaves

The young leaves of a small sycamore which was decapitated when a patch of gorse was cleared. The sycamore is a lot quicker off the mark in terms of recovery, by the look of things.

gorse shieldbug

The gorse shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus). Tenuous tree link: feeds on gorse, which is almost a tree. A wannabe tree.


Posted in Gone for a walk





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