|Young Elder Leaves|
At the same time, there is a more lasting change taking place - from bare branches to green leaves. It is a transition that goes by almost unnoticed; one day the trees are bare, the next, or so it seems, they are covered in leaves. And, of course, the trees stay green until the following autumn.
For the second year, I have tried to photograph this transition, the mid point between bare wood and leaves, in Milton Country Park. The main difficulty is capturing that moment when the buds have developed enough to show up green in the photograph, but not so far that only a confluent green mass can be seen.
It was only when I tried to do this last year, that I fully realised that not all trees go green at the same time. The first leaves to appear are those on the elder. This year this was at the end of February. The image at the top of this post was actually taken last year in April, which is probably a good indication of the difference in climate of the two years.
|South of Park - 27 March 2016|
Another bush that gets its foliage early is the field maple. This one was in a favoured position on the edge of the woods at the south end of the park. Its bright green leaves stand out against the surrounding bare trunks and branches.
|By Play Area - 27 March 2016|
The field maple in the previous picture was well separated from its background. More usually, the developing leaves are little more than a thin veil over the surrounding wood, clearly visible to the eye but often 'disappear' in a photograph. This hawthorn is catching the early morning light which helps to accentuate the leaves.
|South of Park - 3 April 2016|
Not all buds are so indistinct. The swelling sticky buds on this young horse chestnut were visible from some yards away.
|Centre of Park - 19 April 2016|
We tend to think of trees in terms of their colour only when they are in blossom, or, during the autumn. The rest of the time we appreciate for their stature, form or age. However, I think they can be impressive when the leaves are just fully formed and are a rich vibrant green. I have particularly noticed it with oak trees this year. The foliage of this one really stands out in the sunshine.
|By Wetlands - 1 May 2016|
The same can also be said of the hawthorn. Here the hawthorn is in bright contrast to the darker greens of the ivy and the tree trunks.
One for the Future
|By Wetlands - 8 April 2016|
It does not take much searching to find young sycamore plants like this anywhere in the park.
Next: Tree Blossom