Late again – though not as late as last month, and hey, three months in a row! I am loving watching my hawthorn through the year, thanks to Lucy and her highly addictive meme. Though to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from my hawthorn this month, I rather assumed it would be in that awkward, in-between, not quite autumn but rather scruffy stage.But as ever, I found myself discovering new things about this very unassuming little tree. Firstly, that there is still a smattering of berries, shining out against the backdrop of the park trees.
I had terrible trouble finding a time to take photos when it wasn’t pouring with rain (a welcome change, given how dry the past few months have been), so I wound up dealing with wind and too-bright sun instead. So, all my attempts at more berry close-ups were stymied, but you can begin to see the bones of the hawthorn emerging as the first leaves are shed.
I love the gnarly architecture of the branches, all those lumps and bumps, decorated here and there with lichens and moss. One of the things that is becoming more noticeable as the year turns is the way the weather has shaped the tree. The north side has noticeably fewer leaves than the south side:
The area of the park near out house has undergone considerable clearance this summer, in readiness for the “Wales in Bloom” judging. It has made taking photos of the tree from the other side far easier, though I am sure the brambles will be back soon enough. The overall shape of the tree is much clearer from this side, and the silhouette against the blue sky already begins to stand out, though there are still plenty of leaves.
Interestingly, the hawthorn seems to have survived the dry summer far better than the surrounding sycamores, all of which have been shedding shrivelled, burnt-looking leaves for weeks now. By contrast, the hawthorn is only just beginning to lose leaves, and those leaves look as if they might give some autumn colour before dropping too. Slight hints of yellowing, hard to capture in the glare.
If this tree-following has taught me anything it is to be more observant of things around and about my tree, not just the tree itself. And the story of my hawthorn has become the story of the ivy that accompanies it too. Plenty of fresh growth on the ivy at the base of the tree, so as expected, it will shrug off the enthusiastic “pruning” of my neighbor!
Not all new growth around my hawthorn is so welcome, although I have to admit that the leaves, in and of themselves, are rather attractive.
Bindweed. A thug, and one I have failed, dismally, to check this year. It swarms over the fence from the park and entwines itself around everything, reaching out long tendrils into the borders – and up the hawthorn. I need to be more vigilant.
I did wonder if this is how my own hawthorn began its life here in my garden though:
So that’s my hawthorn in October. I am hoping that it will colour up during the rest of the month, I wonder if it will still have leaves come November? Do check out Lucy’s tree-following post for links to more posts about trees, trees of all sorts, all over the world, doing whatever trees do in October…