(The council is keen to emphasise it was a contractor, not the council itself which did this - but it was the council which contracted the contractor . . . so I find it hard to separate them.)
Here we are, a year on and this post is to show what happened to some of the broken branches. Last December, I was using a mobile phone camera which I could hold up high and still and take pictures one handed. When I dropped the phone down the loo, that was then end of that and I'm using a 'proper' camera now - which is heavier . . . and needs two hands. What with a different camera and nettles and brambles, it hasn't been possible to take the latest photos from the same angle. In one case (on the oak) I'm not sure I've even re-photographed the same branch! (But I think it is and it's on the same tree so I hope it'll do.)
Another difference is the season. The ones from last year were taken 3rd - 5th December 2008. This year, I thought it would be good to include leaves so I've taken them a bit early and the presence of leaves (and clouds!) makes them darker, less dramatic. I think it's worth it though. One comes from 29th October 2009. I'm still uncertain about that tree - birch . . . alder . . . ? It's the bark which stumps me. I've included a cropped photo of the catkins on that one. When I take another, better one, I'll swap it. The rest, I took yesterday (17th November 2009) - three weeks early but already too late for elderberry leaves. The thing about elderberry is that it looks much more substantial when in leaf than it does when the branches are bare. In the summer, it's a green blob and they are barely discernable. In winter, it's thin and skeletal and hardly shows that it ever grew anything green. Viewed from even a short distance away, it does a good impression of being dead. I'd have needed to be very observant and assiduous about timing to have stood myself by the elderberry when it had leaves and branches to be seen at the same time and at a moment when the sun was shining - in the right direction!
I like elderberry; and one of the good things about it where I live is that it provides a good perch for lichen and this lichen is very rain re-active. In December, the weather can be blue-sky-crisp-cold-and-dry. In November, it's more likely to be wet and windy. That's what it is at present and the light and the lichen show it. The November pictures are darker than the December ones and the lichen in them is green instead of yellow. It's even greener when wetter and takes hardly any time to change. My guess is that wind is drying it almost as fast as rain lands.
To the trees:-
December 5th 2008
The same tree - October 24th 2009
From this point on, the layout is weird. I have tried and tried to sort it but, unless I am to devote the rest of my life . . . well, I'm giving up. I have no idea why it is in large print and why the captions won't sit neatly where I want them . . . 'spec you'll manage!
The reproductive (!) quality of pictures from here on isn't good. I was using the new editor. The pictures above - I've managed to replace using the old editor. Will probably sort this but ANOTHER DAY! aAAAAAAAAAAAGH!
Splayed Elder with Shoot - 3rd December 2008
Elderberry Whirl - 2008
Elderberry Whirl - 17th November 2009
And was I wrong? Trees can be slow movers but, so far, they don't seem to have been too troubled by the damage done to them by council's (I mean the contractor's) cutting machines. I'll keep watching. But my preliminary conclusion is that I was wrong. I didn't make jam. It's possible that birds were disturbed. I'm not a bird person and I can't tell. If I was wrong to worry - I apologise. On the other hand . . . I'm glad I've watched.