Swaying in the Wind

THE WIND builds up again this morning, swaying the tops of the tall conifers, a Leylandii and a fir, in my mum’s back garden.

The needles of the fir are small and strap-like, each about 1.5 cm long, coming to a point at the tip. Unlike pines, where the needles grow in pairs (or in threes or fives), these grow individually from the stem.

I could see the fir’s long sausage-shaped cones growing from some of the top branches but despite the wind, I couldn’t find any on the the ground to take closer look.

The bark is smooth, pitted with pores.

Leyland Cypress

Female cone of Leylandii, diameter 1 cm, one third of an inch, photographed with the microscope.

The leaves of the Leylandii, (Leylandii) x Cupressocyparis leylandi, are scale-like. The small female cones have eight scales and the seeds (2 mm) are disk-shaped (right).

The multiple stems of this Leylandii have rough bark.

Spring Flowers

The snowdrops at my mum’s have been showing for a week or two now with yellow aconite, a relative of the buttercup coming into flower this week.

The hellebore or Christmas Rose has been in flower throughout the winter but the yellow crocus is only just showing signs of bursting into flower.

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