Update on the yearlings!

You said there was a house at the centre of the forest, I searched for days until you told me you had lied

From “I have found you” Sinead McClure

Mid to late May 2021 was when the planting of trees ceased for the season – so now any trees from that period are celebrating their first year down here. They had a little party yesterday, bending towards us in the fresh breeze as we walked the dogs.

Now we can begin to see the transformation of this patch of land. The trees are certainly making their mark. Each day when we come down here the border collies run into the middle of the birch trees and sit there, as if there is a sort of comfort to be among them. Some of the birch are getting tall, out-growing me, others are four footers, strong and holding their own. But it’s the new growing leaves that make them all stand out, the gem-like shine against the deep reddish brown barks.

The camera doesn’t pick them out very well against the grasses. This is a meadow, and I’m trying to space the trees to keep some of that natural growth – soon the trees will take the spaces but for now it is interesting to see how all the wildflowers are faring with them here. The yellow-flag irises will flower next month and they are in abundance in the damper part of this spot. We have had flushes of marsh marigold, their big splotchy yellow flowers dotted all over. The lady’s smock is resplendent in pale blue and soon birds-foot-trefoil will hop along the ground. There’s a large area still treeless although this year we have added another four grey willows, a scot’s pine (which had planted itself in a pot near the house), two more oaks, a rowan, five hazel cuttings, and a blueberry which is in its element down here!

Trees surprise us every day, especially at this time of the year. Now the oaks have started to come into leaf and the yearling oaks, are still tiny, a much slower growing tree than the birch. These golden-green leaves are such a welcome sight! Even the tiniest oak, planted in March for my late uncle Mick, has gotten its leaves.

It’s also a busy time for birds. The sparrows are hatching and fledging quicker than leaves are sprouting. They fly in group formation from tree, to shrub, back to tree. They are demanding fledglings, stalking their parents, learning all the places to go. The water bath. The nut-feeder. The ash tree. They beg with their beaks wide open, expecting food. Such characterful birds. Their existence and the life of all the birds here are linked so closely to the trees.

The long acre is the preferred location of the reed bunting, for many years they used the tall grasses to perch on, now they have branches. Whether they will prefer that remains to be seen.

2 Replies on “Update on the yearlings!

  1. Every level of wonder at your alliance with nature, Sinead. I love this right now, a balm to the world.

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