Thursday, 13 November 2014

Tree Following With Lucy ~ November 2014


My willow has stood on tippy toes during the last month and has shed all bar a few leaves which are still clinging tenaciously atop of the branches. It's rather windy today and I'm not sure whether there will still be any hangers on tomorrow. There was no dramatic autumnal colouring up with my tree but a subtle thinning away. As Chloris from 'The Blooming Garden' commented in October "You will probably see the real difference next month when all the leaves will have faded away like silver ghosts" and that indeed is what has happened.

The foliage around the base has died down considerably now enabling a glimpse of the stream which runs close by. You will often find willows growing near to water and the word 'salix' which is the genus they belong to derives from the Celtic word, sal (near) + lis (water).


Our willow is on the opposite bank of a small surface water stream which runs alongside one boundary of the garden. Some time ago by sheer serendipity I stumbled across a photograph which shows the lie of the land just over a hundred years ago in 1913, when it was decidedly more watery than it is now.


Both the pond, cottages and greenhouses have gone but we do still get ducks swimming along the stream. I can't make out any definite willow form in the photo or work out exactly where our house is now, which is rather frustrating as it would be brilliant to pin an age to the willow, but I can see why the willow whenever it arrived chose to make its home in such a spot.

To see what other trees are up to this month do visit Lucy over at 'Loose and Leafy' who came up with the great idea of tree following over the course of a year.

17 comments:

  1. Hi Anna. How lucky were you to find that fabulous photo. Did you just happen upon it ? What a thing to treasure.
    It all suddenly feels quite a wintry landscape, and it seems to have happened very quickly this year. Your willow is definitely in napping mode now ! I'd be interested to learn your views on ivy/ no ivy around the trunk. Advocated by the RHS because of the benefits to wildlife etc, but many people remove it as a matter of course. I am ok because I can never keep up with its growth, so always have a balance of trees with/ without it !! Saves me having to make a decision!

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    1. Thanks for visiting and your comment Jane. I came across the photo when visiting the website of the local family history society. It was a lovely surprise. Although I would not plant an ivy at the base of a new tree planting, I'm quite happy to live with it growing up an established tree as this is. I think that it probably does more good than harm.

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  2. lovely, lovely, lovely... your willow, the autumn, that photo...

    so many trees bare and the sky is grey but I love seeing the forest floor littered in leaves... a different feeling being able to see through something that was once a wall of green. (writing forest "floor" made me wonder - why is it "floor" instead of ground...) I'm looking for that fire to curl up near.

    "it chose to make its home in such a spot" sweet.

    xo

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    1. Thanks for your most kind words Kif :) Yes it's a bit of a mystery why it's floor instead of ground but it sounds right. Hope that you found that fire and that you are as warm as toast.

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  3. Hi Anna - echoing Jane above: what a find that photo was. Do you know exactly what position it was taken from? I've enjoyed your contribution to Lucy's Tree Watching and look forward to reading more about your willow! (And I'm glad to see you are a bit later than the 7th! I'm going to join in tomorrow ...)

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    1. I'm not sure exactly where the photo was taken from Cathy but will have to get others on the case. I'm late this month as I was away from home on the 7th but Lucy leaves the window open for a week. I look forward to visiting your tree later today :)

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  4. Finding an old photo of where you are now is amazing, it makes you realise that the footprint that we leave behind is so fleeting. Probably the gardens that we all leave won't be around in another 100 years.

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    1. Oh what a thought Pauline and it's not just the gardens but houses too. We knew a gentleman who grew up in one of the cottages in the photo. Maybe though some of the trees will still be on the same sites a century on.

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  5. Oh Anna, you can't keep us in suspense on how you came about the photo.
    Your willow looks to be reaching out to touch the sky, just as a young child would reach up to grab something.
    Have you thought about looking into old maps, I was trying to locate a farm that had long gone as part of my genealogy research and found by going back to the old maps, I was able to locate exactly where it was. I know the willow will not be noted but perhaps the cottages and greenhouses were.

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    1. Sorry Angie I did not mean to keep you in suspense. It was through the website of the local family history society. Thanks for your excellent suggestion about looking at old maps which I will follow up. I feel a visit to the local library coming on :)

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  6. The sky looks quite stormy in your first photo and our weather forecaster just showed us the weather systems coming over towards you so I expect your willow will be bare very soon!

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    1. I've poked my head outside on a wet morning to check the state of play. There are still some leaves hanging on at the very top Cathy but definitely fewer than yesterday. The wind was quite nasty yesterday afternoon for a couple of hours or so - possibly the next windy day will see them all fly.

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  7. What a fabulous photo - almost like a Constable.

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  8. Yes the photo does have a ring of an old master about it Elaine. I would so like to know more about the little girl who is gazing at the pond.

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  9. What a lovely photo, it would be fabulous if you could find out more about it. I've got a book here from the library at the moment which shows photos of my small town from long ago, it's fascinating looking back at local history in this way. I'm not surprised that your willow is only holding on to a few leaves now, we're definitely heading in to winter and autumn will soon be just a memory.

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  10. How brilliant to have that photo, even if your willow doesn't feature. Willows somehow manage to look wafty even when they have lost their leaves, yours has lovely bark colour, the ones in the park next door to us are much more grey, they tend to look a little grim over winter.

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  11. Good to see the photo even if you are unable to find out more - hmm, all the things we would do if we have more time... I have copies of maps of our village back to 1806 but part of our house is older than that and I am sure there will be older maps to find too...

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.