Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Tree Following - the Larch

Today I decided I would take part in the Tree Following Project. So when I was in Colinton Dell I was keeping an eye out for an interesting, accessible tree. This area by the Water of Leith is full of beautiful and interesting trees, so I was a bit spoilt for choice! My initial thought had been to study the tree where the tawny owl roosts (and I'm always so taken with watching the owl that I don't even know what species of tree it is!) but the path by that tree has been cordoned off due to another tree needing to be cut down. The tree and the owl are still visible from the barrier but I can't get close to the tree!).

Instead my eye was caught by this European larch tree.



It's an old tree and has ivy climbing on the lower portion of its trunk. 

The larches are the only deciduous conifers and always look strangely bare in the winter.



It always seems to be full of birds, particularly coal tits. What made my mind up for me in choosing this tree to watch for this project was seeing a pair of long tailed tits making their nest in its branches. This is the third time I've watched long tailed tits making a nest, and really it is a wonderful sight, they make such an intricate dainty little nest, a work of art really, from spiders webs and lichens and other things. The nest is in the first photo but it's too small and too well camoflaged to show up. Plus although the long tailed tits were more than happy to have me around, they became agitated when I tried to get closer and take a photo of them and their nest, so I put my camera away and watched them for a little longer.

For Tree Following






11 comments:

Dartford Warbler said...

A European Larch is a really interesting choice and it will be good to follow your Long Tailed Tits` nest as well as the tree!

TexWisGirl said...

a neat tree.

Caroline Gill said...

So pleased, Juliet, to feel that you are on board for this project! I had a larch for the 2011 Tree Year project ... and loved it! It will be interesting to see whether there is a similarity in bird species etc. ... I can't remember if I saw Long-tailed tits. Must look up!

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

So pleased you are joining us tree following. The post is delightful - context, creatures and lovely tree.

The Weaver of Grass said...

One winter, when the silver birches were empty of leaves, I spotted a long tailed tit's nest amongst the branches. I got a lovely photograph of it, which I sent to RSPB. I think the idea of 'following' a tree throughout the year is a splendid one and I shall now choose one myself Juliet.

chloris said...

I love Larches, yours is a lovely big one. The colour of the new leaves in spring is wonderful. I use the little cones for Christmas arrangements.
How wonderful having a long tailed tit's nest in your tree. They often visit my birch trees but I have never seen a nest.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I've never seen a Larch before. What a beautiful beautiful tree.

HELENE said...

What a majestic old tree, will you be back every month to take photos?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Helene - hopefully every week!

Rambling Woods said...

A great choice especially as it is an old tree..I look forward to following your tree Juliet... Michelle

Bill said...

building a nest . . .
I put away
my camera