Monday 18 June 2012

Tree bark: a study in texture

Regular readers will know that I have a bit of a penchant for "arty" photos. I am always on the lookout for things with interesting colour, form or texture, to use as photo subjects.

The other day, whilst staying with my Mother-in-law, I had the opportunity to photograph a really impressive old tree. I have no idea how old it is, but I'd guess well over two hundred years. It was massive and very gnarled and wrinkly:

This blogpost is one that doesn't need much commentary. The pictures more or less speak for themselves.

The tree had a hollow part, about 7 or 8 feet above ground level. I picture birds nesting in there - or perhaps bats roosting?

There were lots of little holes in the tree, which I took to be the work of Woodpeckers.

The deeply-serrated bark looked like a mountain range in miniature.

This tree was at the side of a road officially called Sandy Lane, but known locally as Keepers. I wonder what scenes it has witnessed. Did it perhaps provide cover once or twice for the poachers who came to steal one of the pheasants looked after by the landlord's game-keepers? Jane tells me that as a young girl she use to sit at the base of this tree with one of her friends, checking off all the plants she had seen in her "I-Spy" book. Judging by the presence of a number of empty beer tins I rather fear that these days it is more likely that the grand old tree must more often have to witness the antics of teenage boys conducting their first undignified experiments with alcohol!

P.S. Nothing to do with tree bark, but I want to show it to you anyway... Saw my first Harlequin Ladybird larva of the year on Saturday:


  1. So that's what those little bugs are! Are the harlequin bugs the good ones or bad ones? I like the tree; definitely looks like a mini mountain range!

  2. This reminds me of an aer and ICT course that I used to run for primary teachers. I used to send them into the grounds of our training centre armed with cameras to take photos of interesting textures, shapes, patterns etc. When they came back they edited them using software and we ended up with some fantastic effects. I've also done the same sort of thing with children and they loved it.

    I haven't come across a harlequin yet thank goodness.

  3. Really Mark! Birds and bats, what about gnomes and fairies? I read a lot of Enid Blyton as a child, so big old trees always remind me of "The Magic Faraway Tree". Lovely photo's.

  4. The Harlequin Ladybird larva are neat looking!

  5. Awesome photos, Nature truly is beautiful in its diversity. Have really enjoyed reading your blog Mark... All the very best!

  6. Hands down, those are the best looking bark pictures I have seen. Great job as always, Mark.

  7. Oh I LOVE tree bark. Nice photos! Living in Australia bark comes in SO many different styles and just on eucalypts. Bark that peels in spots(like spotted gum), bark that peel in ribbons (like the gums koalas like to eat), bark that comes off in amazing fibrousness (like stingy bark) and bark that doesn't come off at all and just builds up and up an fissures (like iron bark).

    And love the lady beetle larva.

  8. Although I don't do much gardening, I do love nature and art, so your post truly appeals to me. I am fascinated by your eye for detail. Blessings!

  9. A keen eye for detail as usual!


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