Filed under Gardens

Fond Memories

I can’t leave you with ‘My Oak Tree‘ looking in such a sorry state so I leave you on a happier note with one of my posts for Vision & Verb:

From Little Acorns

My Oak Tree

I often take photographs of what I refer to as ‘My Oak Tree’.  Of course the old oak tree isn’t mine, it is part of nature.  The tree isn’t even in my garden; it is in the garden beyond the bridle path that runs behind my house.  I am very fond of the tree and it provides beauty and interest throughout each of the seasons of the year.  It is now so large that its branches completely span the bridle path and reach into the back corner of my garden.

A recent comment on my blog mentioned that it was a shame about the ivy growing on the trunk because it would kill the tree.  I used to think that too but, since I first thought that several years ago, the tree has grown around 10 feet (3.048 meters) and I noticed many trees in Shropshire sharing their space with ivy so I have dismissed the idea.

After the recent blog comment I decided to check the facts. I found that ivy is not a parasite and it does not kill the tree. The aerial roots are not penetrative and the ivy’s roots are firmly in the ground beneath the tree.  The relationship between tree and ivy is symbiotic.  The ivy attracts wildlife so the oak tree is always full of life. Visitors to my tree include blue tits, great tits, coal tits, wrens, sparrows, blackbirds, pigeons, insects and, on one memorable occasion, a poplar hawk-moth descended and settled on me just above my waist.  This was quite alarming because poplar hawk-moths are quite large (wingspan 65-90 mm).  Luckily it didn’t flap around like moths normally do; it just glided in and came to rest gently.  It was coaxed off me and went to settle inside the kitchen for a short time before going back to its natural habitat outside.

I have both memories and photos of beautiful sunsets through the branches of the tree and of sitting in the garden watching the sun go down.  Of hearing the leaves rustle in the wind watching the seasons go by.  Of the rebirth of the leaves and buds in spring, the green of summer, the autumnal hues followed by the winter view.  The weather in autumn determines how quickly the dead leaves fall from the tree; in some years the winter view is bare branches or, in others, there is a golden glow throughout winter due to the leaves not falling from the branches.

I have always had a fondness for trees because of many childhood walks where my dad encouraged me to identify different trees by their bark and leaves. I have got a bit rusty on tree identification since then but I still enjoy woodland walks and immersing myself in the beauty of magnificent trees and the wildlife they attract.

15th April 2012

3 Comments CherryPie on May 29th 2015

My Oak Tree

Sadly they did come back for the remaining branch and now we are left with almost no tree at all… Something will have to be done to that part of the garden to regain some privacy!

My Oak Tree

My Oak Tree

9 Comments CherryPie on May 29th 2015

My Oak Tree

My Oak Tree

Unusually I wasn’t looking forward to coming home this evening and when I arrived my worst fears were realised… I wonder if the tree surgeons will be back tomorrow they seem to have missed a branch!! The birds that usually flit and fly around the tree seemed rather confused and were flying around at low level in among the greenery in my garden. I hope I didn’t disturb them too much when I was out taking a few photographs.

There is a small positive note in that I will now be able to see stunning sunsets as I sit at my computer which in recent years had been concealed by branches and foliage. Exchanging one beauty for another…

My Oak Tree

My Oak Tree

12 Comments CherryPie on May 28th 2015

My Oak Tree

My Oak Tree

Here are some before and after shots. The beautiful Oak Tree in the early morning sunshine before it had the first of its branches removed followed by some photographs taken this evening. The weather has changed to suit the occasion. I dread to think what what sight I will come home to after day two of the branch trimming operation…

My Oak Tree

My Oak Tree

My Oak Tree

10 Comments CherryPie on May 27th 2015

Blenheim Palace

The weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t very inspiring so we picked what looked the best day (Monday) for a day out to Blenheim Palace. Despite it being the bank holiday we had no problems with traffic and arrived at Blenheim having made good time. The weather was kind to us, although it was cloudy at times. We enjoyed the formal gardens, the palace and the walk through the arboretum past the grand cascade before running out of time. In addition to the Palace tour we were able to visit the private apartments where by chance we were lucky enough to see the Butler at work, starting to set up the dining table.

Despite it being the bank holiday it wasn’t overly busy, perhaps due to the grounds being so big. It seems we were lucky to have chosen the Monday as I overheard one of the house guides say that they had seen 5000 people through the doors on Saturday!!

We had our day tickets converted to a yearly pass which means we can go back later in the year to see the other things that we missed.

Blenheim Palace

The journey back was as pleasant as the outward journey. We did however encounter problems finding somewhere to eat. Everywhere had stopped serving and we ended up with our third option which was really a last resort.

After such a busy day yesterday I have spent today relaxing at home with some reading and a little bit of gardening. After such a lovely weekend I was saddened when a neighbour called round this evening to inform us that after the recent fallen branch ‘my oak tree’ has been sentenced with a severe trimming of branches. If I had known earlier today I would have taken some photographs when it was looking particularly beautiful in the early evening sunshine.

My Oak Tree

12 Comments CherryPie on May 26th 2015

Synopsis from the book cover:

Truth is stranger than fiction. And nowhere in literature is it so apparent as in this classic work, The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest. This autobiography of a Jesuit pries in Elizbethan England is most remarkable document and John Gerard, its author,  a most remarkable priest in a time when to be a Catholic in England courted imprisonment and torture; to be a priest was treason by act of Parliament.

Smuggled into England after his ordination and dumped on a Norfolk beach at night, Fr. Gerard disguised himself as a country gentleman and traveled about the country saying Mass, preaching, and ministering to the faithful in secret – always in constant danger. The houses in which he found shelter were frequently raided by “priest hunters”; priest-holes, hide-outs, and hair-breadth escapes were part of daily life. He was finally caught and imprisoned, and later remove to the infamous Tower of London, where he was brutally tortured.

The stirring account of his escape, by means of a rope thrown across the moat, is a daring and magnificent climax to a true story which, for sheer narrative power and interest, far exceeds any fiction.

But more than the story of a single priest, The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest epitomizes the constant struggle of all human beings through the ages to maintain their freedom. It is a book of courage and conviction, whose message is most timely for our age.


In the comments section of my post on John Gerard in the Tower of London my friend Lisl recommended this book.

The story is a historical account of religious persecution in the Elizabethan era from a Jesuit perspective. The story of John is both inspiring and humbling in equal measures. His faith, determination and gentleness enabled him to overcome extreme and impossible situations.

The final paragraph of the synopsis sums up the essence of the book. I recommend you read the book and be inspired by John’s courage, gentleness and conviction.

18 Comments CherryPie on May 25th 2015

Whatever I am offered in devotion with a pure heart – a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water – I accept with joy.
Bhagavad Gita

New Growth

12 Comments CherryPie on May 24th 2015

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