As everyone is coughing and sneezing and wrapping up warm, it is very easy to see the dark side of autumn – literally, with the days being short, rainy and miserable. We can give into that melancholy state and way of seeing things. What can be cheerful about muddy paths or bare trees?
However, autumn gives us the chance to reflect upon the power of nature. The poignant message is that nature is not just pretty flowers and colourful butterflies on sunny days. Wildlife depends on the seasons – it’s exactly what all the creatures have evolved to work with.
It’s very easy to be cross with the weather but if we are to cherish nature in all its disguises, we should be able to see its beauty. What better to demonstrate nature’s beauty than trees?
THE SWAMP CYPRESS
Here’s a photo of the foliage in summer, as well as now, so you can see the striking changes.
A tree from far, far way… It was introduced from America in 1640 by John Tradescant the younger who travelled and brought plants and seeds back to Britain. He introduced some of the well-known American trees to British gardens such as Magnolia, Tulip tree. The Swamp cypress is an important part of the Florida everglades.
Autumn is also the poignant season that shows very well the passing of time and teaches us to value fleeting moments. These two photos were taken about two weeks apart. I saw the flare of yellow from afar and was about to call the fire brigade. It was just a coppice of Norway Maple.
The Norway Maple was introduced to the UK in the 17th century and it’s planted a lot because of its ability to withstand all sorts of conditions.
Trees in winder are actually quite difficult to identify. Beech, however, offers you a couple of clues. Firstly, it keeps some of its dry, brown leaves on, sometimes through the whole of winter. Secondly, the long, pointy, cigar-shaped buds are always a give-away. But now it’s autumn and Beech gives one of the most stunning performances.
THE GINKGO TREE
This fascinated tree is a living fossil. This means that the species has remained unchanged for millions and millions of years. Ginkgo trees were around when dinosaurs were still roaming the Earth! Also, trees are divided into groups and in this group there is just one species – the Ginkgo tree. Beacause this species is good at withstanding all sorts of conditions – pollution, compacted soil – typical of the city streets, it has been planted all over the world. Just a well because in the wild it’s quite rare.
So, hopefully, this autumn we’ll be able to enjoy the colours rather than paying attention to the grey weather. Keep warm and stay well!