Thursday, 17 March 2011

A Stranger in a Forest Lane

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.


Kath said...

What lovely blue skies. I just love catkins, seeing them bouncing on the branch is the thing that really makes me feel Spring is here.
That bark was quite weird, it reminded me of a turtle :-D

Karen said...

We have large amounts of mimosa trees here in Greensboro but the blooms on those are pink and they don't bloom until early summer.

WOL said...

@Karen -- those you describe with fuchsia pink blooms are actually another species of acacia -- See:
Most true mimosa have thorns.

We used to have that kind of acacia all over the place here in north TX when I was a child -- we had a big pretty one in our front yard, but for some reason, in about 1970, they all died -- all over town. I haven't seen any since.

I love the gnarly oak tree pix. The oak we have here are mostly "post oak" that never get very big ("post oak" because the only thing they're good for is fence posts.)

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely photos, looks like a wonderful place to walk, such beautiful trees