I am beginning to feel like the White Rabbit in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, constantly scurrying around muttering “I’m late, I’m late…”. But hey, better late than never?! And I’ve been noticing the berries on the larger, less wind-sculpted hawthorns growing in the more sheltered places on the Island. The red berries shine out as you drive past, heralds of Autumn, and I was curious to see how many ripened berries my own hawthorn had.
At first glance out of our bedroom window, not many:
Taking a closer look, there is a peppering of jewel-like berries, not overly dramatic, but definitely there.
I particularly liked seeing the berried canopy surrounded by the tops of the park trees nearby – the blue sky helped!
I’ve seen denser bunches of berries on other trees, but there again I have no idea whether mine never had as many berries, or if they were there but have long since been eaten by the birds! The little blighters certainly made short work of our currant bushes this year, but a closer look at some clusters of berries left me unenlightened, I couldn’t see clear signs of stalks without berries.
Most of the berries are way out of reach of my camera, at least for the purposes of a close-up, but one was hanging low enough to get a good look at.
A bit like the tree itself really, not huge, not flashy, but with its own quiet beauty.
I am also still on Ivy Watch. Again, at first glance most of the ivy that had been growing up the main trunk appeared to be dead, from where my neighbour cut it back to regain his view.
Closer inspection shows that although one major clump of ivy is dead, there is another that is still growing away, full of health and vitality, which makes me happy. The two of them, hawthorn and ivy, seem to coexist quite happily, and the ivy will no doubt play host to more insects, which in turn will feed the birds once they work there way through the generous array of berries available at the moment, in the park and beyond.
At least the ivy will guarantee some colour once the hawthorn leaves have dropped. I don’t really have a good feel for how early or late hawthorn leaves generally turn, and I doubt this year will give me an accurate picture either, the long hot spell in the summer has stressed the trees and leaves are turning earlier and faster than normal all over the place. Certainly the hawthorn leaves are looking far from healthy. They will probably be glad to be able to let go!
So there you are, my hawthorn tree in September. I am going to try to link in to Lucy’s Tree Following post, but may have left it too late, but if you love trees do check out the links on Lucy’s blog, people all over the world are following a fascinating array of different trees, from small saplings to giant mature specimens. Enjoy!