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, 21 April 2012


It's surprising how many old leaves and dessicated berries there still are in the bushes.

Some of the ivy flowers and berries which were like firework balls in the autumn have turned into woody, spiky, fascinating things in which texture and structure are more prominent than colour.

They are mixed in with glossy, established leaves.

(Flies like ivy.)

And, because it's spring - there are new leaf buds.

And new leaves!
* * *


Clusters of buds for elderberry flowers are beginning to form. More on some trees than on others.

And, beneath them, the scented flowers of alexanders.

Here's our elderberry shoot - it's the smallest one in the middle. Before long we will not be able to see it for other leaves. I chose it because it's in the crook of a branch and, therefore, easily identifiable but it's rather annoying that it's the slowest on the tree to grow!


Pictures are important. In them, we can see all sorts of things which we'd probably not notice if we weren't taking time to examine a static image. However, a tree is more than a picture. Below are a couple of short video clips of 'our' elderberry clump. Nothing happens. That's the point. It's a little pause to listen. I've not yet managed to upload anything of a satisfying length so they stop almost as soon as they start. Apologies for that. My intention was to offer a moment in which to stand (or sit!) and stare and to be aware. Hopefully, I'll work out how to load longer clips without destroying the quality as time goes by. Meanwhile . . . oh, and if you click the YouTube option you can see them larger.

Looking up the bank to the Elderberry Clump and listening to the birds at dawn.
April 15th 2012.

The Elderberry Shoot framed by the stems of Alexanders.
Around 3:30 pm in the afternoon of April 20th 2012.

* * *


The Latest Posts
Tree Followers

From Lichfield Lore - Tree Following . . . bring May Flowers
From On the Edge Gardening - Lime by Name
From Down by the Sea - Tree Following 4
From Gardening Ways - Plane Tree on the Move
From Walsall Wildlife - A Rotten Place to Live
From Tree Care Tips - Horse Chestnut and Red Maple
From Patio Patch - Wych Elm Cousins

For a list of the Tree Followers
And - don't forget Treeblogging which aggregates posts about trees from a wide range of blogs.


Dimple said...

Thank you for the audio (there was more to listen to than to see!). I love the sounds of wild areas!

Rosie Leavesnbloom said...

I've been out walking all day hearing sounds just like that and observing a colour explosion in the landscape as so many of our wildflowers up here in Scotland are blooming. It's so relaxing listening to that.......hope you can record some longer soundclips soon Lucy.

Lucy said...

Hi Dimple and Rosie. It's definitely the sounds that set me off on this. When I first had the idea (about two years ago) I thought I'd be able to remove the pictures and be left with sound alone. That turned out not to be possible so I began taking stand still recordings and decided there's something special about standing still and listening - an actionless film. . . I find I can hear better if my eyes are engaged. But uploading . . . that's beaten me!

I have a wonderful couple of minutes of a bird singing. You can see the bird opening and shutting its beak against the night sky and it seems never to repeat its song. I don't know what it is but it goes on and on . . . and it was hard to know when to stop recording. I tried reducing its quality but it wasn't then worth listening to. One day . . . a way will come!

Down by the sea said...

Hi Lucy,
The sounds are lovely. I'm glad you managed to keep on trying. I have posted so many photos that I purchased some extra allocation for my blog!

Lucy said...

Hi Sarah, that's commitment!

Lucy said...

Everyone - I've taken out the early morning one and replaced it with what I think is a much better one.


Ronnie Tyler said...

I listened to the birdsong whilst looking at your post - fabulous, thank you.

Lucy said...

Thanks Ronnie. It took ages to load. But at least it did! I'm not sure whether my internet subscription will take more uploading for a bit but I still hope to get the really wonderful solo bird on here some time.

Janet said...

Beautiful dawn film, Lucy. Is that your breath moving the horizon line up and down?

What camera are you using to get such good quality images?

Lucy said...

Hello Janet. Not so much my breath as my breathing (and shivering!). No tripod and had zoomed in so movement pronounced.

Using a Canon S100. It's really a camera for still photographs but you can do film clips on it too. I'm not sure the internet does them justice.

I notice from one of your recent posts you too are interested in sound. I find ordinary soundscape fascinating and gripping. I recently filmed Portland Bill in the fog. Just the sound of waves and the foghorn on the lighthouse. Absolutely nothing else happening. Too long to be uploadable.

Emille said...

Love the elderberry shoots!

Mark Willis said...

The sound of silence. Interesting. And rare. "If a tree falls in a forest miles from anywhere, where there is no-one to heear it does it make a sound...?"

Rowan said...

I enjoyed the dawn chorus. The difference between north and south shows with the elders, they are coming into leaf here but no sign of flower buds yet. Alexanders - not sure whether they grow up here, the only time I've seen them is growing in the period gardens at the Weald and Downland Museum. To be honest I'm not at all sure I'd recognize them if I saw them growing wild.
Love your new header - so fresh and Springlike.

Janet said...

I use a Nikon D90 with a similar filming feature.

Editing it is a nightmare with Windows Movie Maker. Microsoft seem to have changed it. I'm sure it had more bells and whistles than it does now.

Does anyone know of an affordable video editing software package?

Janet said...

Mark - just because human ears didn't hear the tree fall doesn't mean it was silent ;-)

Black swans are in the mix here too I think.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I am just thrilled to see anything green other then grass. It's a little slower here, but it's coming along. Haven't seen any ivy growing like it did on the coast.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Lyn said...

what lovely images, Mother Nature is a wonderful thing.

Bridget said...

Lovely to look and see...and listen...to nature. Lovely post.