19 December 2015

A celebration of trees: December: My 2015 favourites

If William Blake was correct when he said, ‘The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself,’ then I must be a (wo)man of imagination because trees have moved me to tears of joy many times during my 2015 project to photograph a tree (or trees) every day for a year. (You can see the full album of photos here.)

The trees have inspired me with their beauty, encouraged me through their strength and resilience, sheltered me from rain and sleet, fascinated me with their history and stories, lured me along trails and pathways, and provided colour on grey days.

To close the door on this year of trees I thought I would share some of my favourites. The selection process hasn’t been easy and these are not necessarily my best photographs, but rather trees or moments in time that have touched me more deeply.

Though my project will soon end, trees will definitely continue to feature strongly in my photographic choices, and I will always treasure the time I spend amongst them.

This tree was a favourite during the time I was living in Cheshire, close to home and perfectly positioned for stunning sunsets.

This long lime avenue at Great Budworth looks beautiful in all seasons but is magical under a dusting of snow.

This is another favourite tree, perfectly positioned in the landscape, growing in a field above Pickmere lake.

Ah, Arley! I walked by this lake so many times, in all seasons, and always paused in this spot to admire the view.

This was another favourite walk, across fields on my way home after a pleasant hour or three birdwatching in the woodlands and the hides on the edge of this lake, Budworth Mere.

Though this was taken for its scary feel – the ‘Little House in the Woods’ – these woods are anything but scary, as you will see from another photograph of them below.

This was another early favourite and, once again, both close to where I was living and on a regular walking circuit.

This beech avenue at Tatton Park was originally planted in 1739 – such stately ancient trees they are.

Imagine what tales this enormous Horse Chestnut could tell. It's another of the glorious old trees at Tatton Park.

The greening of the woodlands at Marbury Country Park was a joy to see after the long cold days of winter.

Admittedly, the tree here features less than the vibrant yellow of the rape flowers but what a happy scene. It always makes me smile.

From my 10 weeks back in New Zealand in May/June/July, I’ve chosen this enormous Moreton Bay fig tree in Cornwall Park. It’s not a New Zealand native but I couldn’t resist its grandeur.

One of the many beautiful places I visited when staying with friends in Wisconsin in July, with stunning trees and the bonus of a covered bridge.

And so to my new life in Cardiff and this superb avenue of ginkgoes that runs from the castle to the mews. As you saw in my November tree blog, I have photographed these often since I moved here.

Another wonderfully geometric avenue on one of my walking circuits – these trees run across Pontcanna Fields.

This section of the Taff Trail is another of my regular walks, yet I never cease to be amazed by the beauty of the trees and the river.

From a short visit back to Cheshire and a quick re-walking of my favourite trails. These are the same trees that featured in the ‘Little House in the Woods’ above. Not at all scary now!

The towpath alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal is such a pretty place to walk, especially in the leafy green of late summer.

Back to Cardiff, to the magnificent Bute Park, to the gorgeous colours of autumn …

One final vibrant burst of colour from these trees alongside Cardiff Castle and a glorious end to my year of trees.

If you want to take a look at my monthly tree blogs, here are the links: January (one particular favourite), February (about lime avenues), March (on the subject of forests), April (about the greening of the trees in the British springtime),   May (on the New Zealand pohutukawa), June (about some of Auckland’s most notable trees), July (honouring ten wondrous trees from my international travels), August (following pathways through forests and woodlands), September (about dead trees that have been given new life), October (the beautiful colours of autumn in Cardiff), and November (the gorgeous avenue of ginkgoes in Cardiff’s Bute Park).

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