The afternoon began with work but nature soon took over, and the work can wait ’til tomorrow.

On Ibbotson’s Lane

A talk I’m doing on Tuesday at the University as part of a ‘Teach Out programme of alternative learning on strike days’ left the house with me, in the format of a mind map I’d work on as I walked. My usual way of thinking. And work on it I did for a while. Thinking, stopping, notebook out, adding to, moving on. Until the late November afternoon took over and turned into this set of photographs.

At the far end of the lake, Sefton Park

I love these kinds of afternoons. Still and dark, the sun seeming to have barely risen all day. Autumn turning to winter now, with more leaves on the ground than there are left on the trees.

“On the trees.”

After all these decades of walking around, trees are mostly still trees to me. Not so to my partner Sarah though, who walks into a glade of trees like she’s opening an encyclopaedia.

Sarah Horton
“I’m going for a walk in Calderstones if you want to come with me?”

So I put my work away and went to Calderstones with Sarah. Calderstones being a feast of trees. Described from now on by Sarah, you’ll be glad to hear.

Gorgeous duo of Taxodium (Swamp Cypress) and Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood).
The only two deciduous conifers. 
Turning to brown now and will soon all be on the ground… 
Forming a soft brown carpet of feathery leaves.
A tulip tree – Liriodendron (in the Magnolia family). Actually named after the flowers (which are a bit like a tulip), but I always think the leaves look like tulips. 
A thousand-years old, the Allerton Oak
Unidentified yellow leaved tree…. bright today in the grey November afternoon.
The last leaves of Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua).
Liquidambar – a gorgeous name. 
Bark of a Cryptomeria japonica (in the Cupressus family).
Acacia dealbata – or Mimosa – covered in buds which will open bright yellow in early spring. 
In the English Garden, the lovely lichen and moss covered brick wall. 
Quiet in here now, and we leave though the side gate… 
Where there is a lovely Nothofagus tree (Southern or Antarctic Beech), it’s not labelled so possibly N. betuloides.
Bark of the Antarctic Beech.

Walking round the perimeter of the park we could see across where the orchid houses used to be to the now empty greenhouse where the Calderstones themselves had been stored until recently. Across Mr Roscoe’s Garden, in fact, in a story we’ve told before if you want to read it.

Over there, where Mr Roscoe’s Garden used to be.
Liverpool Botanic Gardens, from the 1950s to the 1980s.
After the Edge Lane Garden was destroyed in World War II

Late November light nearly gone and our walk nearly done, Sarah closes her botanic encyclopaedia for now.

A birch tree – bark shining white in the gloaming. 
But we’ll be back

And the work I’m working on for Tuesday morning?

Published by Ronnie Hughes

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place: http://asenseofplace.com.

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