Q is for Quercus

This is my post for the letter Q in the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge.  My theme is plants.

Well, here we are at one of those tricky letters.  Again a botanical name has proved useful.  Having used a tree for H, I am not in the least embarrassed about introducing another here.

Quercus is the botanical name for the oak.  There are several species of oak trees.  Many live for hundreds of years, becoming very wide.  There are some magnificent oak trees at various National Trust properties, as well as in the countryside throughout Britain.  I remember seeing some ancient oaks at Calke Abbey.  The one in the picture has appeared on this blog previously.  It is at Acorn Bank.  Many old oaks become hollow.  I am not aware of any others where the gap has been filled with an old clock mechanism.

Oak tree (Quercus)
Oak tree (Quercus)

It is appropriate that the National Trust has chosen oak leaves as its symbol or logo.

The fruit of the oak is the acorn.  “Great oaks from little acorns grow.”

There are also oak apples.  These, interestingly, are galls produced by an insect.

There are very short posts on Sue’s Trifles for the A to Z in April Challenge.

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Half and half (2 photos)

This week’s photo challenge is half and half.  The first photo I have chosen is one I took earlier this year on a visit to Acorn Bank.  The trees in the photo are half seen directly and half reflected in a pool of water.  It is rather a busy photo, but my eye is drawn to the top half or the bottom half.

Trees and their reflections in water
Trees and their reflections in water

Click on the photo to enlarge it if you can spare the time.

Another photo where two subjects compete for attention is one I took at Talkin Tarn.  The tree in blossom and the view make me look from side to side like a spectator at a tennis match.

Blossom and a view of Talkin Tarn
Blossom and a view of Talkin Tarn

Intricate mechanism

The Daily Post Photographic Challenge this week is Intricate.  This post includes two photographs.  I have already written about a visit to Acorn Bank.  I took lots of snaps that day.  One in particular sprang to mind for this challenge.

To take the photo, I chose the best place to stand in order to have the mechanism in sunlight. Even so some of it is in the shadow of the tree. My shadow also appears in the shot.

Clock mechanism
Clock mechanism

The clock mechanism is inside a very old, hollow oak tree. The bark of the tree also has an intricate pattern. In winter and early spring the only clues to the species of a tree are its shape (habit) and its bark.

Oak tree
Oak tree

The second photo in this post was taken before we visited the bird-hide. The first one was on the way back about twenty minutes later.