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, 5 September 2015


Hawthorns and elder trees by the sea are commonly shaped by the wind so they have a permanent
'blown sideways' look. To me, it seems unusual that a sycamore should have been so affected.
(The little blobs to its right are boats.)
Well, here it is. A tree more accessible even if it isn't near a teashop. Can't have everything! (That's in theory. I always hold out hope that one can.)

It's a sycamore whose trunk starts below the level of the path and is hidden by brambles until quite high up. Which means not much of it can be seen from close to. But I like it. Every year I notice the colour and beauty of its helicopter seeds.

I've already shown you a particular seed-pair looked like on the 15th August. This is what it looks like now (2nd September 2015). I don't know how long it will last out - how many times I will be able to visit it before it ripens and before it falls off. But I'll have a bash at following this pair of wings (almost as good as insect wings) until they fall off. The chance of me happening to be there when they drop, of being able to put them in a pot and see whether they'll grow is a bit remote. But along with hoping I can have everything, I can hope for such a miracle of chance.

The tree's leaves remain whole but are beginning to show signs of wear and tear. Sycamore leaves can look a bit heavy. Or they can be like the frosted breath of Keats' Beadsman whose 'frosted breath' 'Like pious incense from a censer old, Seem'd taking flight for heaven, without a death'.

Leaves, seeds and joins seem to reflect each other in their shapes and patterns.

And here's a little near-by-ness. (Not below-ness, where the blackberries are small and green still, despite being plump and ripe away from the sycamore shade.)


And an insect drinking in a yellow flower.

* * *
The Keats quote is from The Eve of St Agnes  and can be found in full on the Poetry Foundation Website

There will be a box for Tree Following posts here on 7th September. It will stay open till the 14th.
To find out about Tree Following
go to the Loose and Leafy
Tree Following Page


Anonymous said...

Will you be following this tree into next year?
I like chicory flowers and always grow them on the plot.
I'll be doing both Liz's Stewartia tree following post and my fig tree one during next week. Flighty xx

Caroline Gill said...

What a lovely post, Lucy, to kickstart this month's arboreal proceedings. I'm so glad you are excited by the new sycamore tree. I love that Keats poem, and it seems to fit so well. Beautiful images, too, though I'm sorry about the lack of coffee shop! I'm struggling on with my Acer negundo (for now), as you will see, but continue to prefer the Silver Birch. I'm a bit of a terrier and keep hoping that if I cling on a bit longer the Acer may yet endear me to it when more leaves turn ... but at the moment the only autumn colour is brown.

Caroline Gill said...

P.S. I had to identify sandwiches in your Captcha this time! Got there on take 2!

Hollis said...

It always struck me odd that these trees would be called sycamores as they're obviously maples (Acer) judging by their keys, and not the sycamores I know (Platanus). But now I understand! The leaves are very sycamore-like.