I have not enhanced these colours.

Following my tree: October

Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving, a holiday that usually coincides with the best colour of the fall season. This year, colours hit their peak a week or so ago, and are still going strong. They were, and are, spectacular!

blog skgpond-1
I haven’t enhanced the colours. This is really what the view over The Skating Pond looked like at the end of a beautiful day.

Not so the colours of my poor little corkscrew hazel. I’m starting to feel sorry for the tree: it is trying so hard and simply can’t manage to make itself attractive. The rich burgundy of the spring leaves faded throughout the summer months to a non-spectacular shade of green where they’ve remained, ever since.

follow tree october small 2,3-1
I like the contrast between the grey branch and the green leaves.


Still, it is Thanksgiving, so I will thank my little hazel tree for connecting me with other tree lovers around the globe, through the English blog Loose and Leafy.  I’ve followed a mulberry tree with Chloris, cottonwoods along the Laramie River with Hollis, a quince with Alison.

And continuing the thankful theme, I thank my friend Alessandra who worked with me for many months to develop this new website. I thank the linden tree at the end of the Big Lawn for being as close to perfection as a tree can get.

The linden tree at the end of the Big Lawn
The linden tree at the end of the Big Lawn

I thank the apple trees growing wild in the woods around Glen Villa for their flavour,

Apples from old trees gone wild sometimes taste as good as they look.
Apples from these old trees gone wild sometimes taste as good as they look.

the faces on birch trees that eye me as I walk the woodland paths,

Do you get the feeling that someone is watching you?
Do you get the feeling that someone is watching you?

and the ancient maple trees that, miraculously, become young again every spring — and generous enough to share their sap.

They may be old but the sap is young.. and delicious when it becomes maple syrup.
They may be old but the sap is young.. and delicious when it becomes maple syrup.

Canadian Thanksgiving is about six weeks earlier than the American holiday of the same name.  The difference in timing reflects history and differences in climate conditions: Canadian harvests are that much earlier than those in Virginia, where the first American thanksgiving was celebrated. But in whichever country it occurs, Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate nature’s bounty.

Tree lovers: who and what do you thank? And when do you do it?

  • LucyCorrander

    Fantastic pictures. I like your new site.

    And I always look forward to posts about this tree. Of all the possible trees in your grounds you have chosen a very tiny one that you don’t like! It’s fun to see how you struggle to say something about it each month!

    Who and what do I thank? I don’t think I do much active thanking – apart from at birthdays and Christmas and when someone passes the butter. What am I thankful for? This is going to sound very parochial but I’m for ever being struck with wonder that I live where I live. I came here by chance. It’s unlike much of England. The inner county admittedly is green fields and cottages (which is pretty wonderful in itself – very beautiful and not a large population) but the geology of the Dorset coast is extraordinary and dramatic. I’ve never seen anywhere else like it. I struggle to believe I’m in England sometimes, let alone that I live just here.

    • siteandinsight

      The new site is getting a lot of positive response… I’m very happy with it. And you are right, I could have (should have?) chosen another tree, because I am a huge tree lover. I have struggled to find something to say every month but searching for an angle has been enjoyable.
      I also say thanks for the butter, the salt, the extra helping of potatoes… But like you, my biggest thanks is for the place I live. I don’t know Dorset well but I do remember one amazing visit to the coast there about 15 years ago. Stunning. I need to return.

  • amanda peters

    The first photo is stunning, the trees look lovely, like the tree on the lawn too.. I keep telling people their tree is just as important if its changed or not…

    • siteandinsight

      Thanks for the compliments on the photos, Amanda. I simply take the pictures, nature does the rest! And I agree, whether a tree changes or not, it is a wonderful presence.

  • Amy Murphy

    Incredible image of the “eye” in the birch tree – I am impressed with your attention to detail.

    • siteandinsight

      I first noticed a birch ‘eye’ a few years ago. Once you see one, it’s impossible to miss them.

  • Pat, maybe your hazel is a poor struggling tree, but I still find the “corkscrew” branches quite enchanting — I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything else like it.

    • siteandinsight

      It was the corkscrew branches and the colour of the leaves that attracted me. I’ve decided to give it another year… maybe to move it in the spring to a better location. Incidentally, I love the research on the mulberry tree that you included in your posts. Are you an academic or simply a curious researcher?

      • Thanks, Pat. I’m something in-between 😉 Very much a curious researcher but also I’m trained and work in applied conservation botany — not really academics. And I’m mostly retired now anyway, so lots of time to satisfy my own curiosity.

  • siteandinsight

    I didn’t know about the connection between birch trees and death. Very interesting. And nicely balanced by the German custom of using a decorated birch tree as a love token. Thank you, Guest, for sharing the information.

  • siteandinsight

    Blue makes a wonderful back drop!