Friday, 27 February 2015

Pines in Sowdley Wood

This was a sketch made between rain showers of some pine trees in Sowdley Wood near Clun. They had been planted amongst a mixed stand of conifer and old oak woodland and stood alongside some redwoods. Both types of tree towered high above me and looked spectacular even on a dull and wet day. I have spent quite a while trying to identify this particular tree but haven't quite found anything that exactly matches what I have seen. What struck me was the gorgeous pale turquoise colour of the trunks that stood out in the dim light. I am often struck by how intense colours can be in nature even when there is very little sunlight. The bark was very smooth and with fine horizontal markings but very little cracking except at the very base of the trees. One rather interesting feature on all the trees was a diagonal stripe on the bark that curved very slightly anticlockwise by about 5 or 10 degrees, approximately 10ft long and beginning 20ft up. I wondered if this was a mark made by some protective covering of the young saplings when they were originally planted, but I don't really know. Judging by their height they must have been planted early in the last century as they looked far grander than stands of commercial conifers that are grown nearby.

After a little scrambling about on the step hillside I did find the remains of some very large fir cones and, as they don't match those of the redwoods or other nearby Douglas firs, they must come from these trees. Even after an extensive Internet search I cannot exactly match them to anything. I could be missing something fairly straightford and I am a little annoyed at not being able to name them but I do like an occasional puzzle like this.

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