September 13, 2015

September, dark leaves and a spider

All the fruit has gone. The only remnants are a few pits scattered around on the ground. The  bird cherry trees are dark and rather uninspiring. They look tired. It's that in between time for these trees. The leaves will turn a beautiful golden in a month or so, a last show before winter.
The bird cherry by the shed

Some of the leaves are beginning to turn.  Many are looking decidedly ragged, bitten, chewed and torn by a variety of insects.
A selection of leaves and the seeds of the cherries.

I need a September design for the Bird Cherry book and the other day I bumped into one of the big striped garden spiders whose beautiful webs, often hung with early morning dew are draped between every leaf, stem, branch and flower stalk. 


It is their time of year. 

This one was lowering itself between the cherry leaves on a single thin thread. I made a sketch.


The spider in the tree.
Then here is the block and first pull.



More images soon......




August 10, 2015

Red Fruit

Already those green fruit are almost all red, ripe and falling. The year is rushing by. The birds love them. They are edible but very tart. but its worth cooking up a bowlful.
Laden branch 7th August

Some for us and the rest for the birds..

A set of cherries, sketched about a week ago where there were more green ones. The colours range from green through yellow, orange, vermillion to deep crimson  

July 7, 2015

Green Fruit

The development of the tree is rushing along, but it's not a wildly exciting phase. Everything is very green, leaves, stems and developing cherries. The branches are beginning to bow with the weight of the fruit, but not as much as last year when they reached right down to the ground.

And the blackbirds are just biding their time. Waiting for the ripening. They use the tree to keep watch for the kitchen door to open, which to them, always means food. Meanwhile they have eaten all of my cherries, most of the strawberries, in between snacking on tadpoles and small froglets and are now hanging around the red currents.. but they give us so much pleasure that we leave the fruit to them and go and buy our own. I am just glad they don't like broad beans.

The tree now engulfing the shed.
A little stone owl  lives on the shed roof.
It keeps getting knocked over by the sweeping branches of the bird cherry tree

Green, hard fruit, but not for much longer. 
A sketch of one  of those large unripe cherry on 1st July.

June 8, 2015

Developing Fruit and New Leaves

I seem to have missed the very first stage of the fruit development but it comes so quickly after the flowers and I have been so busy. Now in early June the fruit are already quite big.




The tips of the new leaves are a very pretty pinky green. 


The most irritating thing about these trees however is the endless battle with the root suckers that come up everywhere... just everywhere!

April 8, 2015

Blossom and First Leaves

So much can happen in a month. We had a fine view of the eclipse on the 20th. Here its reflection in the pond along with the Cherry Tree branches.



The Cherry Trees in the garden have blossomed and already the petals are falling and the first leaves are emerging. It all seemed to happen so quickly I didn't get chance to photograph it in its full white splendour. But here it is in late March.







Now, April 7th, many of the petals are falling or have been blown off by some ferocious March winds leaving the stamens.




A few flowers remain intact....




Enough for some bees to continue finding nectar. A huge bumble bee high above my head in some of the remaining flowers.




The bees are busy everywhere and we have frogspawn, already turning into a mass of wriggling tiny tadpoles. Butterflies are out and about too,Peacock, I think a comma and a large white which fell out of its chrysalis at my feet and had to rest  for quite a while before its wings too shape. 




I am making slow progress with the printed cherry book but do have a few more trial prints of the blossom. I think it will all come together eventually. I have a year after all.



March 30, 2015

"Loveliest of Trees" A E Housman's Celebration of the Cherry

A Shropshire Lad  2: Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

BY A. E. HOUSMAN
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

A. E. Housman, A Shropshire Lad (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Co., 1896): 3-4. del H68 S551896 Fisher Rare Book Library



 From the Poetry Foundation  website. 

March 9, 2015

First outdoor flowers, things are waking up.

It seems to have taken an age for the little buds on the bird cherry outside to open up. It's almost a month since the twig I brought inside flowered,  but some warm sun on Saturday 7th March coaxed a couple of flowers to spring into life.

Tiny flowers, about 6 in all 


The tree by the shed, still looking very bare.. but there is hope!
 It needs to hurry up and get flowering as the sun has also woken up some early bees and they need some food. This tree is a wonderful source of early nectar and pollen I think. The frogs have also woken up. They are serenading us and each other from the pond.It is lovely to see them all.

Bombus terrestris queen 

Gorgeous hairy footed flower bee who needed some extra sun to get going.

Bombus lapidarius on the winter honeysuckle

Early frog looking for love ...