Ash Trees at Dusk

Coxley Wood, sunset

blue titrobin and blackbird4 pm; I was going to draw birds but there was little activity by the time I’d filled up the feeders and settled down with my sketchbook. A couple of Blue Tits briefly peer out from the hedge, a Robin flits about below, a Blackbird pecks in distracted haste at the bare earth of the border while over in the wood, three Woodpigeons are clattering around in the tops of the Ashes.

Ash, Horbury CemeteryYesterday morning I was sorry to see this large Ash (left) in Horbury Cemetery being felled, one of several that are to go. It appears to be a healthy specimen but there’s no doubt that in some gale over the next decade or so it would have blown down, causing considerable damage to the houses that were built adjacent to the cemetery in the 1960s, when the tree was probably already half a century old (if I get the opportunity, I’ll count the rings). Unfortunately trees can do more than damage property and this autumn, during one evening of high winds punctuated by more powerful gusts, a huge bough from a tree at Stanley Churchyard crashed down onto a passing car, fatally injuring a woman.

Luckily the Ashes and Crack Willows in my watercolour of the lower end of Coxley Wood, don’t threaten any road or property and it’s highly unlikely that anyone would risk walking through in the kind of high winds which caused the accident at Stanley.