As I walked up a Forest lane this week, between cottages, gardens and paddock hedges, I was surprised to find this lovely stranger among the native trees. A mature Mimosa Tree, the Australian Silver Wattle, Acacia dealbata, was growing at the end of someone`s garden and the bright, fluffy yellow blossoms overhung the lane.
Up behind some cottages, I followed a track and looked over a field gate. Great, mature oak trees spread their branches against a blue evening sky. The oaks grew alongside holly trees, so may have been part of an old hedgerow, long overgrown.
Hazel catkins hung from the hedge beside the gate.
I walked further up the lane. Over a fence, another row of oak trees stood above the line of a managed hedge. Grass is greening in the pastures now. At home, we have noticed that the ponies are losing interest in their evening hay.
The track up the hill, in evening shadow.
Bright moss beneath the trees.
More oaks, festooned with ivy, provide a habitat for numerous species of birds and insects. In full summer leaf, these gnarled old trees will give grazing ponies a welcome shelter from the sun.