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!

Friday, 7 November 2014

TREE FOLLOWING IN NOVEMBER - FROM ROT TO BRANCH

I chose my tree because it seemed the most dilapidated in a group and I wanted to record it before it was gone. Instead, the tree I thought the most healthy has been felled and the others are dying - well on their way to dead. Except for the one I'm following. It will, it seems, last out my Tree-Following-Year.

Not that it's abounding with perpetual youth. As I've mentioned before, it oozes. I've also said how puzzled I am by the absence of creatures. There are cobwebs without spiders. There's the occasional dead woodlouse caught in them; seeds with parachutes too. But of other signs of life; zilch. It's odd. On almost every other kind of tree I've found an abundance of this and that, plant or sentient. Maybe it's because creatures aren't interested in the dry, fallen needles of a pine. But I've looked for them in its multi-creviced bark and they aren't hiding in there either. Perhaps they like living needles? No. When I've looked at the lower-down branches of the same kinds of trees over the road, nothing much except the bark has caught my attention there either. (And one spider.)

Woodlice walk around in the crumbling wood and bath at the base of the tree




So I'm pottering around the tree, admiring colours in the bark and wondering about this absence of other life when I see what may be fungus beginning to grow at the foot of the trunk. I kneel down to examine it - and find myself kneeling in woodlice. Living woodlice. In and out of the needles and grass and . . . and tree. The base of the tree is rotting and they are it eating away.



Way, way above there's a canopy of cones. As time goes by I get more and more nervous about them. The moment will come when they will fall. (They will fall, won't they?) I doubt I'll be tree following on days when the winds are high!




The grass around the tree has been cut again. But plants keep springing up. Here's a plantain. (And a glimpse of the base of the trunk in the upper right hand corner of the picture.) The branches of the tree are so high these plants have plenty of light for much of the day.


And all the time the tree oozes and drips from its inner self make patterns on it's already wonderfully patterned bark.
* * *
Earlier Posts About This Tree.

I'm a Tree Follower.
Are You?
To find out more about
Tree Following
go to the
Tree Following Page.
It's a rolling project.
You can join in at
any time of the year
2014

March               I've Found My Tree
April                 Freda - My Tree Following Tree
May                  Freda is Fertile
June                  Of Resin and Cones
July                   The Talking Trees
August              Slicing the Tree
September         My Tree in September

My last post about this tree will be in March 2015 so I can compare the
first month with the last.

15 comments:

Jane Strong said...

Top photo this page is captioned "A Sycamore? November 2nd 2014". I say "No way, that's a maple with samaras, helicopter seeds. So I look it up. Confusion reigns. Now you can help me out. In UK, there are maple, sycamore and plane trees. OK, so far? My sycamore of which there coincidentally are photos in this month's posting, has little balls for seeds, like your plane tree, yes? Your sycamore has helicopter seeds like US maples, yes? Your sycamore is a maple, yes? I learn something new everyday!

Jane Strong said...

Page changed while I was writing. I was referring to the photo on this page http://looseandleafy.blogspot.com/

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi Jane. Heavens! It does get complicated! We have sycamores and maples, all of which have helicopter seeds and none have little balls of seeds like plane trees! I've still not worked out how we tell the difference between sycamores and maples. Some tell me it's the sap. Others say it's how the keys are placed.

Sorry about the page changing while you were writing the comment. I've been having troubles with the blog this morning. I was making a minor adjustment to the Tree-Following-for-November page when everything, EVERYTHING vanished from it. It took a while to re-construct. (It's ok now.) Maybe what happened to you was related to whatever happened to that.

Apologies.

flightplot said...

An interesting post, along with terrific photos.
It's good to see that you'll be doing posts about this tree through to March to complete the year.
Flighty xx

mygardenersays.com said...

Your tree must have been quite a beauty in its youth. Your photos are lovely. I especially like the last one. At first glance, it looked like rock, rather than wood, with lichen. Thanks for hosting this interesting and fun look at trees.

Chloris said...

The 7ty caught me unawares this morning.
Wonderful bark on your tree. What are all the other trees dying of ?Do you know?

Trella said...

Wow, Lucy, that last photo looks like a painting on a canvas that should be in a gallery! Nature truly does make its own art that really cannot be duplicated other than by interpretation!

Donna said...

You indeed have found a most interesting tree Lucy. I think as it declines we see maybe less other life on the tree. Sad really but it is beautiful with the oozing trails and the fungus.

I will have my post ready to link up on Monday.

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Your survivor tree is full of character, though a bit disconcerting to discover the woodlice eating away at it... Love all the ooze, fungus etc. I wonder when/if it will be felled like its fellows, as a precautionary measure if nothing else.

Caroline Gill said...

What stunning and unusual photographs, Lucy, to make up for what may be a lack of wildlife in your tree, though I'm quite jealous of your woodlice! I'm feeling very challenged and inspired to try some different views next month ... though there *probably* won't be leaves by then (surely there won't be, will there?) to look through!

Cathy Thompson said...

Your close-ups of the bark are just beautiful, Lucy. Couldn't take my eyes off them. You have really bonded with that tree, haven't you?!!

Anna said...

The 'inner self oozing' is most attractive Lucy. I've often wondered how I've managed to survive almost thirty autumns without a conker falling on my head, as I have to regularly walk underneath the canopy of a large horse chestnut. You might be ok with the pine cones. If you are apprehensive though you could always wear protective headwear for tree following and start a new fashion trend.

telltaletherapy said...

yours is not a tree - it's a living, breathing oozing scuplture - beautiful shot looking up to its canopy

Stephanie Robinson said...

Perhaps you choosing the tree has given it some kind of extra impetus and willpower to survive! Glad that it's still going strong and loving the patterns on the bark.

Cathy Thompson said...

I already left a comment Lucy, but have added a link to my own Tree Watching contribution