Sunday, January 10, 2016

Big Trees

I love trees. Its one of the things I missed all the years I lived in Israel. Trees. Last year when we went back to South Africa, we drove the Garden Route from PE to Cape Town. I insisted we stop at the "Big Tree". While growing up, we stopped there on every trip to Cape Town. I love that tree. I am impressed that it is now part of the "Garden Route National Park". In the old days there was an easily missed sign on the side of the road and a simple path to the tree. No fences nothing. Now there's a wonderful wooden trail from the park entrance (and pay booth) to the tree. After all these years I still found it impressive. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

I suppose growing up in South Africa set something in my consciousness and trees bring me peace. That's probably one of the reasons I walk so much. All around Richmond there are special trees. The British really value and take care of the natural life around their green and pleasant land. I found the Woodland Trust has a pamphlet called The Ancient Tree Hunt (London Tree Trail). There are a number of ancient trees, right here in our area. The tallest London plane tree stands in the grounds of the El-Gaucho restaurant on the tow path between home and the bridge. The Richmond Royal Oak (tree number 40404) is near pen ponds and is reputed to be over 750 years old. 

This morning I visited the Richmond Park Oak (tree number 40371). It's a wonderful old oak tree that stands off the main path between Richmond and Ham gates. The wonderful thing about these old oaks is as they get older and start to develop some dead wood, the wildlife move in. There are many birds and squirrels that live in the rotting branches. This morning there must have been a half dozen squirrels playing among the branches. I tried to catch them with my iPhone camera but they were just too quick. This is the best I could do.

Roxy "squirrel scourge" went berserk chasing the poor blighters in the park this morning. She could have caught any number but prefered to chase them up trees and then sit at the bottom urging them to come down and play. They will have nothing to do with this of course.


arnieo said...

I am so happy that you are 'blobbing' again - very nice posts

Peter Ostrin said...