Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Wednesday, 31 December 2008


There must have been a reason why I put this post back into draft. Or, maybe I didn't. Maybe there's a muddle and it's a duplicate. I can't remember! But it's annoying to arrive at a site looking for a post that isn't there (possibly even more annoying than arriving to find it is of no interest - or little) so I'll re-post it so, if you come to this page, you'll not find it missing.

Maybe I should take the opportunity to do a little time travelling and say 'Happy New Year' - whichever year you are in.

(This post was first written in 2008. I've added this note October 3rd 2012.)

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A very Happy New Year to all my blogging friends.
May we all be millionaires, live pain-free, healthy and happy lives,
With People to Care for and to Care for Us
Best Wishes for 2009!
The next proper post for Loose and Leafy (you know, with things to read!) will be on Monday 19th January - as long as I don't trip over a rock, fall down a hole, go bankrupt, get rabies, dissolve, ossify or . . . . . first.

Monday, 15 December 2008


I could wrap presents or write about buddleia.
I'll wrap presents.

Monday, 8 December 2008


I have written and re-written this post so many times and still haven't got it right - so I'll take a run at it. If I don't, it'll never get done. It may come out a bit breathless. Apologies. So . . . there I was, out in a North East wind, looking at un-seasonal flowers . . . except I started looking down badger holes instead . . . when I realised a lot of growing is going on in December and I've not been taking proper notice of it because I've been too busy being surprised by surprises.

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And this thought made me widen a project I've been mulling on - which was to select a few trees and follow their growth over the course of a year.
Now, I'll be choosing patches of wild ground too and monitoring them in the same way. (But not the bit in the picture; patches with more variety.)
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Then, Nigel at SILVERTREEDAZE went into a rant about the flailing of hedgerows - which reminded me of my own fury when the local council flailed blackberries from their bushes in September - just as I was about to make jam and bottle fruit ready for Christmas. Our bushes and trees (see how posessive one becomes) still bear the scars left by mechanical flails - and an email from the council promises it'll do it again in May, July and September next year. (Or employ contractors to do it. Council officials emphasise this - it's not them that flail, it's their contractors.) Well, this set me off on another tack. I'd been looking for trees I could stand back from so I could see their developing shape. And I wanted to get close to them too, to photo their opening buds. With the revised plan, I'll be following particular branches; branches which bear the marks of the flails. The results will be less aesthetic - but interesting none the less.
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There is litttle that rouses strong opinion as much as the flailing of hedgerows does. When it happens, I go home miserable because of the devastation (and I see others doing the same). There are branches hanging frayed and broken in the bushes and trees . . . undergrowth is missing . . . it's horrid. But, as the photo of the Alexanders testifies . . . it's hard to keep a good plant down . . . So . . . now it's time to start introducing branches. OAK

And a very pretty tree.
(Not as big as it looks in the photo.)
Perhaps someone can tell me what it is?
With its chosen branch.
And a large tree with catkins and red twigs. From a distance, the twigs look very red - like a red cloud.
(I don't know what this one is either. I wish I'd started before the leaves fell off!)
Remember these branches well!
There are other trees and bushes lined up . . . for other posts. And they'll have their own year books. (Elsewhere but with links.)
And we'll see what happens.
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