Until July 2017, 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! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Saturday, 7 May 2011


There's something odd about the tree I am following. Ditto the ground around it. The leaves are late and many of the flowers beside it had their heads eaten off or withered before they had a chance to flower. I expect, at the end of the year, I'll go through photos and do a sort of 'retrospective' post to show how things haven't happened. In the meantime, before we get completely out of season, here's a glimpse of what was happening on 25th April.

Looking up into the tree.

As you see from this (and from the next photo) there are many more leaves on the sycamores beyond 'our' one, in both directions.

Fortunately, the clump of bluebells was worth waiting for.

But, right against the roots, where the lesser celandines didn't flower - the Arum Maculatum (Lords and Ladies, Jack in the Pulpit) isn't faring well.

It's all very odd.

But it would be nice to finish with something cheerful so . . .

A couple of miles away, a field where ponies live - buttercups.



Anonymous said...

Sycamores are known to produce allelochemicals that suppress the growth of surrounding competing plants, so maybe that is the explanation for the lack of ground vegetation? Your new header image made me smile - big blue warm hazy skies are what I think of when I think of the south of England!

Mag said...

I am reminded of something I vaguely know: that plants do not thrive under Walnut trees. Due, probably, to the allelochemicals that Kitty (above) mentions - whatever they are! I shall go and examine the spot under the Sycamore in my hedge (which is never allowed to become a tree and needs constant cutting back, this time of year) to see what may be growing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I chanced upon your blog via a tweet by Zoe Lynch. What a find! I love your photos (looked at your other blog too). I will visit regularly - Ronnie

Pat Tillett said...

Not only do I always like your photos, I also like how you bring them to life with a little information about most of them!
Happy Mother's Day...

Dimple said...

Interesting post; I am not familiar with this kind of sycamore at all, but it is beautiful, as are the bluebells and buttercups!

Thanks for the visit!

Mark Willis said...

Looks like the Arums and Celandines have been casualties of the March / April drought.
I've noticed a lot more Buttercups this year. The fields seem to be full of them.

Bridget said...

Lovely pics, as usual. We have a big Sycamore in our field under which nothing grows except grass. The animals love to sit under it though, especially the goats. I love looking up into it's lofty height. The Bees love when it is in flower.

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

I wish we had room for a sycamore... yours is gorgeous!

PatioPatch said...

I have several sycamores Lucy and often have cursed the dry shade they spread. I think drought may be the main problem for the undergrowth die back.
p.s. love the way you've organised your blog and what a header - open views and buttercups.

Lucy said...

Dear Everyone - Your comments are fascinating . . . the thing is, this tree is in a wood that is almost exclusively of sycamore trees so, when I am contrasting the growth (or lack of it) around this one, I am judging it against its fellow sycamores. Drainage could be an issue. There is a narrow stream/puddle/ditch/collection of dried leaves at the foot of the bank. (Its nature depending on the season and the rainfall.) Water going down a bank does form its own paths rather than go down in an even wash so it's possible these (generally invisible) mini-tributaries have formed grooves which avoid 'our' tree. I will have to go along the foot of the bank and do a post of what one sees at different points, looking up. I already have a backlog of ideas and promised for posts for this blog but I'll cover them eventually. I hope!

I'll come back to reply to your individual comments soon.

Incidentally, the seed I noted in the post


withered and died.

It was sitting on moss. This may have been because the moss was covering a rock or root so there was no depth to the soil. (Which means it was a silly seed for me to want to monitor!) Or can moss itself retard growth?


Inside Cambodia said...

Happy Mother's Day to you, Lucy. It would be very interesting to see your retrospective photos at the year's end. What a clever idea. I love the blue and yellow flowers... they certainly are great for cheering your day.

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

How curious that this one tree is in different conditions - or has some sort of disease it is fighting off? I suspect that is too much of a anthropomorphic "explanation"! Love the buttercups, great new header.

Rowan said...

I think the theory about drought and the plants under the sycamore may be correct, the lesser celandines around here have been very poor this year. I agrre with Mark that the buttercups are wonderful this year though. I love seing them they manage to be bright and cheerful and yet delicate at the same time.