Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Chestnut Leaf Miner Update

In my last report I said how less advanced the leaf miners' work was.  here are some photos to demonstrate:

These are from the 14th June.  The blisters hardly show and the trees themselves appear healthy and are developing conkers.

This one is from 19th June. The blisters are still small and the tree is progressing well.  Compare that with 9th of June 2011.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Chestnut Leaf Miner - 2012

The  chestnut leaf miner is with us again but I notice it is not as advanced this year as it has been in the past.  Photographs from 2011 show pronounced brown patches on the leaves by this date.  This year the brown spots are still tiny pinheads.  This means that the chestnuts have managed to make good growth so far and flowers have developed into tiny conkers.  How far these will develop we will see later.

I've been trying to work out why the infestation is not so bad.  It could be that the parasite is reaching a natural balance with its host after the first flush of the invasion.  It may be that a natural predator has taken on the challenge or it could be something to do with the prolonged, cold and wet weather we have had this May and June so far.  Either way, good luck to the chestnuts in their struggle for survival.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Back in May, I remarked on the depredations of the chestnut leaf miner.  And the chestnuts have all been a bit of a sorry sight with brown, withered leaves whilst everything else has been in full glory.  However, nature is not without its checks and balances and it is never in the interests of a parasite for the host to die.  There needs to be leaves for the miners to mine next year, after all. Thus the chestnuts continue to grow, if not thrive and even, to produce a crop of conkers so that there will be new young chestnuts for future generations of the little critters.  Here are some pictures of the pavement under one of the badly hit trees.

And here is a selection of conkers I picked up from the same spot.  Maybe not world beaters in a conkers competition but I should think they are good enough to grow.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Middle Chine

Middle Chine is an unassuming way down to the beach, not ostentatious and dizzying like Alum Chine or packed full of parked cars like Durley Chine.  It's a gently sloping path that leads you through some magnificent trees.  Where the ever invasive rhododendrons have been cleared back it's possible to see the whole height and breadth of the pines in one go.  The path sweeps gently left and right giving you a new vista with every turn.
Just off Westcliff Road opposite Clarendon Road.

An inviting, cool path on a hot summer's day.

An impressive road bridge crosses the chine but is designed beautifully so that it doesn't detract.

Get up close and personal with the pines.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Trees and Artists

For the first time, I'm going to post the same post on this and one of my other blogs, Peter John Cooper.  I think you'll see why.

In the 19th century Bournemouth became the place for rest and recuperation.  Its modern equivalent would be a cross between Centre Parcs and Champneys Health spa. To further this effect groves of pine trees were planted because their scent was meant to be particularly healthful.  Bournemouth became a centre for those suffering from TB and many of the lingering diseases acquired in the Empire. For the same reason we see a rich list of artists and writers  who came to Bournemouth to breath in the resin scented air of the Pine walk and to take invigorating exercise along the seven miles of golden beaches.  Among these were Aubrey Beardsley, Robert Louis Stevenson and DH Lawrence.  Later, writers such as  J.R.R. Tolkein retired here.  Nowadays the pine walks and golden sands are still there and artists still benefit from their reinvigorating properties.  If you need a revitalising break to release your creative potential then follow in the footsteps of the greats  and enjoy one of the creative weekends at Bournemouth Creative Breaks

Monday, 1 August 2011

A Bus Ride in Bournemouth

Its difficult to convey just how tree-y Bournemouth is.  many roads and avenues are so thickly lined with trees that you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the middle of a rural forest.  Here are some pictures taken from the topdeck of the open top bus on the way to Swanage.

And just looking back from the ferry at Sandbanks

And here is Skerryvore, the house where Robert Louis Stevenson lived and wrote some of his more interesting stories whilst recuperating from illness.  Unfortunately the house itself was destroyed by bombs in the Second World war but you can see how thickly wooded the gardens are.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Corsican Pine

I'm not very good at identifying all the different species of pine trees that surround us.  I can recognise the Scots Pine because of the red trunk but, as for the rest I always need someone else to identify them for me.  However I worked very carfully with my handbook and I think I have my first identification.  It's a Corsican pine.  And the West Cliff out of my window has a good collection of them.

And here is the clincher.  Two needles in a bundle.  Thus: