We are at that period of late autumn when we get the best colours from the trees around us – so that is this weeks six on Saturday.
1. Oak is probably one of my favourite trees. We have a few young oak in our hedgerow and I have planted some acorns we collected a couple of weeks ago.
2. The beech hedge is turning from yellow to brown now, and is proving popular with the little birds particularly the blue and coal tits. It’s a great place to hide after you managed to get a whole peanut from the bird feeder!
3. Larch grows in the wood that borders the garden.
4. I love the way these willow leaves go banana yellow – we had three nights frost earlier in the week and they really start to yellow up after that.
5. Lots and lots of rain today – here a dying hazel leaf next to some new shots – a promise of spring to come.
6. And finally alder seeds – again covered in raindrops.
The photograph below shows hawthorn branches encrusted in various different lichens. Trees are not just trees, but living ecosystems in their own right.
There are at least eight different lichens here, and these are all on the same tree! It is estimated that there are 1,165 species lichens growing in Ireland, so maybe eight on one tree isn’t that many after all!
What do we expect from Autumn? Leaves, nuts, fruit, fungi, colours and storms!
We’ve already experienced Storm Ophelia (or ex-hurricane Ophelia) which was one of the strongest storms to hit Ireland and caused a lot of damage in the south and south east of Ireland. Some homes are still waiting for their electricity to be restored. It is hard for us to imagine a week without electricity, though our parents and grandparents would have been well used to it (our own area being electrified in 1951). Today, Storm Brian, is passing through, he is not expected to cause as much damage as Ophelia.
Many large trees were felled by Ophelia. This year, we are told is a good seed year for oaks and beech. So it seems appropriate to try and set some seeds to replace some of those that have been lost. We’ve collected some beech nuts from some impressive local beech trees. We’ve also collected some sweet chestnut seeds but only found a few acorns so far.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if one day one of our collected seeds could look like this (we will of course be long gone!).