A Hawthorn by the Beck

hawthorn3.25 p.m., 45°F, 7°C: This ivy-covered hawthorn has rotted through near its base and collapsed across a bend in Coxley Beck. When I painted this hawthorn twenty years ago, the bank on the outside bend had already been undercut.

brambleThe ivy will survive by putting out adventitious roots where the upper branches of the thorn have come to rest on the opposite bank.

Straggly stems of bramble hang over the water. One has climbed up a slender elder bush and dangles midstream, touching the surface of the water.

leavescrack willowGold, ochre, russet and yellow-green leaves of alder and crack willow are strewn along the edge of the stream. Tall shuttlecocks of fern help give a jungly look to the tangled stream-side vegetation. Himalayan balsam has been withered by frost but its tall fleshy canes are still hanging on to a few green leaves.

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