Saturday, January 28, 2012

from my notebook

Broad-leaved Dock leaf (Rumex obtusifolius), or what's left of it when it's been food for something, presumably larvae of the Green Dock Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula).

(Above and below) The great pine of Brislington (outside Hartwell Jaguar showroom), as much admired, on weekday mornings, by commuters with nothing better to do while they're queuing to get through the Brislington bottleneck into Bristol. It's more pleasant to see it on a Saturday, from the convenient Subway on the other side of the road, which was constructed purely to allow a more leisured contemplation of this magnificent tree. It is a Corsican Pine (Pinus nigra var. maritima), a variety of European Black Pine, so-called because the tree tends to look blackish from a distance, even though the foliage is green. Corsican Pine has a neat arrangement of level branches, unlike the more scruffy upswept habit of Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra var. nigra). By pine standards it is fairly resistant to air pollution, but when I first noticed this tree in 1991 it was evidently finding the conditions of Brislington Hill a challenge; it looks much happier now.



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