Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Fish Tree

Members of my family will understand this name; others not.

There is a tree on my plot which we call the Fish Tree, because in the Spring, when it blossoms, the white lacy flowers smell "fishy". It is actually a type of Ash, or Sorbus. Exactly which, I know not. It's the one on which my bird-table and bird-feeders hang, so some of you will have seen it before in my photographs.

At this time of the year, the berries of this tree are a lovely rich red colour, and the leaves are turning too. The Blackbirds love these berries, and before long they will descend on the tree in droves and devour them.

In the sunshine the Fish Tree can look very impressive, so I have taken some photos of it... To see them at their best, click the images to enlarge them.

The Fish Tree

Fish Tree foliage
Fish Tree berries

To be truthful, I have mixed feelings about this tree, which is not one I planted myself - it was here when we moved in to the property in 1991. At certain times of the year (about 2 weeks in May, when it flowers, and then again for a couple of weeks in the Autumn when foliage and berries are both red) it looks great, but for the rest of the year it is rather dull and uninteresting - and it has some very nasty thorns. It also shades part of my plot (notice the end of the row of beans in my fist picture), and its root system has taken over a few square metres of garden which is now unusable and therefore hosts two of my compost bins (though my neighbour's conifer tree is equally guilty in these respects). On the plus side, the birds and squirrels love it, and in days gone by, so did our cats, who used to take great delight in galloping across the garden at a rate of knots and hurling themselves up into the branches of this tree. Getting down afterwards was always a more difficult (and less dignified) procedure, as I recall...

We don't have cats any more, but I wanted in any case to show you some pictures of the last ones we had, which we adopted in 1991 when we moved in here...

This is Sammy

Sammy - in thoughtful mood
And this is Charlie...

Charlie -- obviously exhausted after a hard day running up Fish Trees!
 You may notice the family likeness -- they were brothers from the same litter. Sometimes I wish they were still with us -- perhaps they would deter the foxes a bit??

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