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!

Sunday, 29 June 2014


Several times I've tried to photograph the tallest London Plane trees in Europe. Complete waste of time. I could show leaves. But all plane trees have leaves. I could show branches - but there's was no way I can give any idea of height. They are in a wood so you can't stand back. And even if you could - suppose there were a hill to stand on a bit distant and you photographed them poking above the other trees - still it wouldn't work. How tall are the trees around them?

Base of trunk of tallest Redwood tree in the UK.
 I don't know why it looks as if it's standing in ice or snow. It wasn't.
Blame it on the light.

Now, inadvertently, I've visited the tallest Redwood tree in the UK. If there hadn't been a notice to say so, I would never have known. Its trunk wasn't especially wide - not as wide as you might have expected. And like the plane trees, its height was obscured by tall trees nearby.

Trunk of tallest Redwood tree in the UK showing the fibrous texture of its bark.

I wasn't especially impressed - except for its exceptionally strokeable bark.

Common Frog - Rana temporaria June 22nd 2014 - sitting on grass
Common Frog - Rana temporaria
June 22nd 2014

For, as you know, it's the small things in life and nature which usually catch my attention. Like this frog which was sitting still in a damp place beneath the tall-but-not-quite-so-tall trees across the road.

Massive flare on what I think is a Sequoia wellingtonia

I found myself making an exception though for this tree - another Redwood.

(I'm being vague about the names of these trees - though I think they are Sequoia Wellingtonias. I wasn't paying attention. I was simply feeling their trunks and walking round them. I think you'd have done the same.)

This tree may not have been the tallest (though it was still very tall; for England) but the flare at the base of its trunk was massive - and beautiful.

Absurdly, here I am with a nature blog - and not minding that I don't know exactly what I've seen. And I took hardly any photographs. Sometimes (mostly if you are me) simply being in the presence of something - a tree, a frog, a leaf - is enough. And taking note of its parts instead of its impressive whole.

And the pictures imprinted in my brain are as good as any photos I might take. It's just that I can't share them as I can images from a camera.

* * *
If you'd like to see these trees for yourselves . . . and hunt for frogs . . . Here's the link to The Forestry Commission's Tall Trees Trail. (We saw a woodpecker walking up a trunk too.)

.Line drawing of a tree and its roots - the Tree Following emblem
I'm Following a Tree
Are you?
The next link box
will open at 7:00am (UK Time)
on 7th June 2014.
If you'd like to know more
about Tree Following,
click the tree!

P.S. The New Forest isn't exactly 'new'. It was developed for hunting in the late 11th century but it existed long before then. Here's the Wikipedia link.

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Anonymous said...

As always an enjoyable, and informative, read and good photos.
I wasn't aware that there are Redwoods growing in this country.
Flighty xx

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Glad you like the post Flighty.

Hollis said...

"late 11th century" ... wow! I had to read the wiki page after that. As far as "history" goes, we have nothing even close.

Phil Slade said...

You certainly live in a wonderful place to study nature. I've been to the New Forest once and saw some of your special birds - Dartford Warbler, Hobby and Woodlark to name but three.

amanda peters said...

I like the second tree, the base of the tree looks impressive, it would be hard not to touch.
There's nothing like a good looking tree... :)
Amanda xx

Carver said...

Interesting post and shots. I love the shot of the frog and tree bark is very beautiful to me.

Stewart M said...

I often think the trees which are famous for being tall are better in the anticipation than the reality! So many other trees - which are not record breakers - are interesting too.

Cheers - Stewart M

PS: this is not a grumpy comment - but I just like most trees, not just the famous tall ones.

Dartford Warbler said...

The redwoods are not far from us and they are interesting and impressive, but like you, I`m more in tune the real native flora and fauna of the New Forest ( I love the frog!). Driving up that lane, with sunlight falling through the trees, is lovely at every time of the year.

Sara said...

Being from across the sea in California, the "land of the redwoods" this is so interesting to me to know there are redwoods growing in England. Your redwoods are little babies compared to their ancestors over here on the West Coast so no wonder they aren't all that impressive! They have a long way to go before they reach their ultimate girth and height and none of us will still be around to see it. I hope one day you can visit the redwood forests over here; it is truly something amazing and glorious!

Donna said...

Can you believe I have never seen a redwood in person as they only grow on the west coast and I have not traveled to that part of the west coast of the US. Your pictures of the trunk are wonderful.