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, 25 February 2012


The comments here have got themselves detached from their post 'February Prickles'. To read the post they belong to - click HERE.



ramblingwoods said...

Hi Lucy..I wanted to let you know that I host a smallish meme called 'Nature Notes' on Wednesdays if you ever want to join..just a few die hard nature lovers like me and I think like you...Michelle

Bridget said...

Does'nt the Blackthorn have longer, bigger thorns than Hawthorn? Could be a way to tell them apart.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Rambling Woods. I have taken a look at you Nature Notes Wednesday. I usually post here at a weekend (though not exclusively) but if it is ok to connect a weekend post to a Wednesday meme - then I would be glad to take part from time to time.

Hi Bridget. Yes, as you can see in the photos - hawthorn thorns are short and blackthorn has some massive long ones. However, some hawthorn thorns can look very thick and long and, more particularly, blackthorn thorns can become shorter the higher up the tree you go.

In the top picture, you can see the long blackthorn thorns on the right. There are none on the branches of the tree coming in from the left. But nor are there any signs of leaf buds breaking.

There's a tree on the other side of the path which, in other years, I thought was blackthorn because the thorns seemed long - but they turned out to be sort of composites - thorns growing from thorns (no idea what the proper word for that is) and a few weeks after saying 'this is a blackthorn bush' - it turned out that it wasn't.

This is why I end up feeling silly!

Linda said...

Those thorns look quite dangerous. How nice to see buds breaking open. We will have to wait awhile to see that.

Mark Willis said...

I'm most aware of the thorns in the Autumn, when I'm gathering sloes for making sloe gin! I always go prepared for the worst, wearing thick clothing and armed with a long stick for holding down the long branches.

Unknown said...

I find distinguishing between the pine and spruces here difficult, as well as the forest wildflowers of which there are many. It just keeps one on one's toes, or involves you in a massive display of igornance. But so what? Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Down by the sea said...

Thanks for the tips of how to tell hawthorn and blackthorn apart.
What a wonderful photo looking across to Sandsfoot castle!

Laura Bloomsbury said...

Hardest of all to id naked trees with or without thorns. I think these trees are only magical when wands are made from them!

Your images just get better and better Lucy and every post feels like a refreshing walk with you.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Linda. Thanks for coming back now the dreaded 'Captcha' is turned off!

The thorns are very big but also, I think, very interesting and beautiful.

There aren't many hawthorn leaves open yet. This was a kind of advance guard - but I took its photo so a rough idea of the shape of the leaf can be seen. Blackthorn is in the plum family so its leaves will look very different.

Hello Mark. I don't collect sloes but I use a hooked walking stick for pulling forward bramble branches when blackberrying.

Hi Gary (and Boom!). I've struggled with different kinds of oak too - and what I think is the Big Coned Douglas fir (Macra Carpa)- of which there are many round here.

Glad you like the Sandsfoot castle photo, Sarah. I have a new camera and was out and about taking random shots on different settings as part of getting used to it. Even with the same make and the same style, cameras have their own personalities and are always frustrating till one has got the hang of that particular model - perhaps even that 'individual'. My other camera wasn't happy with 'views' so I was pleased with this picture too and couldn't resist putting it here.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hi Laura. We must have been commenting here at the same moment! That's the answer! Wands!

And thanks for your complement about the photos. As I've just mentioned to Sarah (Down by the Sea) I've just bought a new camera and am struggling with it in its early days. There have been quite a few 'oh dear!' moments - so I'm relieved (and extra pleased!) that you like these first results.

Wildgardener said...

I've been repairing a bit of hedge this morning after a determined pony push his way through yesterday and have a good close look at the hawthorn-blackthorn thing. I can tell them apart easily now because hawthorn is blocked by my gardening gloves, while blackthorn goes stright through. Ouch.

RURAL said...

We might have Hawthorn trees here, but I don't think blackthorn, or gorse.

Interesting trees, and now that I live up here I will have to take a closer look at what's out there.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I love both and love all sorts of other trees and plants too. The magical thing is that they grow!

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Hello Wildgardener. I really would not like to suffer a blackthorn scratch!

Hello Jen. It must be interesting to find out what plants are new to you where you live now.

Elizabeth - exactly! The magic is that they grow!

weavers&whatnot said...

Interestingly, the research that first identified thorns as botanical biological weapons was published on black and hawthorn. You want to keep those cuts clean... It's the most populat post on my blog too: Why thorns?

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

Dear Everyone.

There are mistakes in this post. The thorn I thought was blackthorn is now sprouting hawthorn leaves. Many apologies. I'm sending this post back into draft so I can revise it appropriately.