Monday 6 December 2010


The sun has been shining here today, beginning to melt the snow and thaw out the laundering. Icicles have been drip, drip, dripping; beating a steady pulse on the metal cover of my braai (new word I've learned! If you want to know what it is, ask Desiree) .

With a clear, sky-blue backdrop, and all of the snow having disappeared from their branches, the skeletal trees have been showing off their winter beauty and I thought I'd have a play from my bedroom window to see how well I could zoom in on the neighbours trees.

This hawthorn is very dead from about two thirds of its height upwards. If it were mine, I would have it pollarded, but it actually belongs to my next door but one neighbour. The best thing about it remaining, is that I can watch the squirrels chasing each other around its branches in the spring.

The sycamore is far more slender and shimmers silvery grey. This is self seeded in the garden to my left. I suspect it's an offspring from the big sycamore at the very bottom of my own garden, but it has grown up wholly unnoticed by Mr. K, merely sneaking in amongst the other trees, bushes and brambles which make up the lower half of his garden. Someone with a very tidy mind might object, but I love it as a haven for wildlife :)

My own flowering cherry is determined to grow upwards faster than I can trim it back. Every time I turn round, it seems to have added a few more inches.

and in the background is the parent sycamore; a beautiful big tree, in spite of all the rubbish it drops on my plants!

And here is one which isn't quite so skeletal. It's lovely to have a bit of green and, although leylandii may not be my favourite, in this particular spot at the very tippy-top, just where the branches seem far too delicate to support the weight of anything larger than a butterfly, come spring... 

...the blackbird will perch and sing his little heart out.


  1. Wonderful post capturing the stark beauty of branches and twigs laid bare against the backdrop of your grey blue sky, H.

    I haven't seen a sycamore tree or hawthorn "in the flesh" (only in photographs). I don't know if we can even buy them in SA. I can't wait to see yours putting out their new growth in spring.

    How lucky you are to have a flowering cherry in your garden, too. They are so beautiful. Can't wait to see yours in flower come spring! You certainly have lots to look forward to ;)

    Hope we'll also get to see some photos of the squirrels playing in the dead canopy of your neighbour-but-one's tree come spring, too? All good practice for using your new camera's zoom function! We have squirrels visiting our garden at the moment. They come to eat from the bird feeding table :) A couple of years ago, they nested in our willow tree, which was marvellous, as we could watch their antics whilst lying in bed (the willow is beside the pond, outside our bedroom window).

  2. We sometimes see squirrels around in the winter because they don't actually hibernate, but they don't venture out on very cold days.

    I actually have two flowering cherries, but the other one is much smaller; still a juvenile. As for the hawthorn, it's everywhere!

  3. We live in the same world Helen, your weather this morning is the same as ours. But as I write this the TV is warning of more snow to come from the north.

  4. we are being told it is too cold for the birds at the moment, although I did see a robin the other day.

  5. Sorry, I just can't get all moony and misty-eyed over dead and dormant trees at this time of year. I love the stark beauty of a dead tree in summer when there's so much green in abundance. Late fall into spring, I just get saddened because everything looks dead. Thanks a bunch, H.

    Glad someone's enjoying a new camera. I don't even have that.


    BTW, I looked up braai. La-di-da on your barbeque.

  6. Your weather has been all over the news on this side of the pond. I'm glad that you are getting some relief and that the snow is melting. A white Christmas is a lovely thing, but just a faint dusting would do!