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:

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Bournemouth Gardens

Some really dramatic treescapes can be seen within the Bournemouth Pleasure Gardens.  These extend two miles inland from the sea and actually finish within Poole.  Below are some snaps of a walk along the whole length of the Bourne stream which forms the central feature of the gardens. The pictures are not all of trees but do give an indication of the lush growth often within yards of densely built up ares.  Worth a saunter on a Sunday afternoon or when it's too breezy to be comfortable on the beach.  Take a picnic.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Sweet Chestnut

There are a mass of sweet chestnuts (castanea sativa) around Bournemouth.  These look very exotic with their big serrated leaves and their long white catkins.  These can live for up to 600 years so they should be in our streetscape for years to come yet.  Here are som pictures from Chine Crescent Road.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Alum Chine

Some of the great features of Bournemouth are the chines, little dry valleys that run down to the shore through the cliffs. These are densely wooded and the trees on the valley floor grow straight up to enormous heights in an effort to get to the light. The best walk, to my mind, is down through Alum Chine from Westbourne to the sea.

Bridges and walkways cross the chine at various heights so its possible to get close to the canopy of many of these giants.

It's very difficult to get the scale of thes mighty trees but take my word for it.  They are big.

Further down, the Chine opens out and little side valleys run off giving the impression of being in a dense woodland.

Untilthe Chine suddenly opens out to the sea.