trees and woodland

Springtime in der Eifel

Spring has well and truly sprung with a couple of weeks of glorious weather in the UK and the continent. Here a small selection from a short trip to the beautiful Eifel Nationalpark on the German-Belgian border, with lush meadows dripping in springtime wildflowers and vivid dappled green woodland trails bursting with life…

Spring stitchwort flowers
White spring stitchwort flowers
Spring apple blossom
Spring apple blossom
Woodland path in dappled light
Woodland path in dappled light
Lush green springtime tree canopy
Lush green springtime tree canopy

In the Bleak Midwinter…

Its January, normally the time of Jack Frost and blankets of white, mittens and snowballs…well not th

Winter oak galls
Winter oak galls
Winter sorrel and spiders webs
Winter sorrel and spiders webs
Bramble leaf in dappled light
Backlit bramble leaf in dappled light
Early birch catkin clusters
Early birch catkin clusters

is year!

El Nino seems to have put paid to all that white stuff in East Anglia for 2016 , which could be one of the warmest (not to mention wettest and windiest!) on record in the UK.

The mild weather also has our plantlife well and truly fooled, with primroses and daffodils nodding alongside snowdrops and aconites. So, instead of a classic snowy winter’s scene, this January’s blog is of a winter’s walk amongst the silver birch catkins at Narborough.

 

Lone Pine in Lava Fields

Lone young pine tree growing amongst barren lava flow
Lone young pine tree growing amongst barren lava flow

I was spoilt for choice in picking December’s photo of the month, having enjoyed a repeat festive trip to Cologne Weihnachts Markt (blog followers, the piano man was still there playing) a beautiful walk at Cley beach as well as having a multitude of landscape photos from my second visit to Los Gigantes in Tenerife. Yet it was this simple, stark shot of a lone pine tree in a blasted lava landscape on the flanks of Mount Teide volcano that has stayed with me.

Perhaps because it simultaneously represents both the fragility of nature and its stubborn resilience. The barren lava flow depicts the sheer magnitude of devastation that nature can unleash – despite Man’s hubris these are forces well beyond the power of humankind to influence or control. Yet in that small, vibrant splash of green the image also contains a germ of hope. However bleak the landscape may become, nature soon starts to fight back; this young little pine tree is the first tree in a slow process of recolonisation of the lava-blasted the volcanic foothills centuries after the violent 1798 eruption that created this strange landscape.