Monday, September 21, 2020

A Cup of Acorns


Another Sunday, another walk with Olga on Hampstead Heath. I felt a strong need to get out in some fresh air, away from the news and my own dread. And it worked. We had a terrific walk and saw some interesting stuff.


Someone (or something?) turned this notch in the branches of a tree into a perfect cup for acorns.


This musk mallow provided a burst of purple color in an otherwise dry, brownish field.


Along one path I saw dozens of ground-nesting bees -- at least, I think they're bees -- popping in and out of little holes. They each seemed to have a hole to themselves, rather than all living together in a single hive, so I think they're solitary or mining bees. They didn't seem threatening. Can you see this one in flight, and the several holes in the soil at right?


Anyway, it was a good walk. Someone had a lot of fun.

I took some more water down to the once-viney tree, but I also did some reading about crabapples, and supposedly they're tough, drought-tolerant trees that thrive in full sun. So I can't imagine any reason why this one, an established tree that's been there for several years, would be dying. There are some fungi that can cause crabapples to lose their leaves, but they don't kill the tree -- and of course autumn is approaching, so maybe the tree's yellowing is just seasonal change. That's what Dave keeps saying: "I think it's just fall!"

We've had a few more Covid cases pop up among our students at school. So there are several large groups of kids and teachers who are all at home, self-isolating for two weeks. Maybe this is how the school year is going to go -- with revolving groups of kids and faculty out at any given time.

16 comments:

Elizabeth said...

It's such a hard time -- the word "dread" is apt. It's difficult to shake off, but I can see how being outdoors and seeing such wonderful things helps. Acorns are so beautiful -- all their intentions in a tiny cup.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Removal of the protective vine now means that passing dogs can urinate against the crab apple tree. Using a simple mathematical formula , I would estimate that the tree now receives between two and three gallons of toxic dog urine each day.

crafty cat corner said...

I'm puzzled by this covid thing. Were the students ill? and do they get tested before they come back after 2 weeks? I am confused by the whole thing.
Briony
x

Andrew said...

Ground nesting bees sound interesting. I have never seen them. When we lived in a unit we had a fantastic flowering crab apple tree surrounded by decking that my Tradie Brother built, but the couple who bought our unit promptly had the tree cut down. Unbelievable.

Linda Sue said...

Not sure how you could "library" from home but that sounds a safety measure. We are all covid weary, less cautious than we were in the beginning. Your walk did a good thing for everyone! The acorns are quite a nice autumnal calendar picture. And Dave is probably right about the tree, seasonal. Today is Monday, we can finally go out - Still medium air quality but do-able- we will go out to buy a tree, finally found a ficus! Stay well.

Mary said...

Crab apple trees--while they can be quite pretty in bloom--generally aren't the best looking tree around the rest of the year. They can look quite scraggly. Dave is likely correct about the reason for it losing leaves...in your previous photo of it, the tree farther along the road looked to be in the same state of change.

Happy you were able to get out and away from the news...seems to be imperative that we do that these days in order to maintain what little sanity we have left.

Colette said...

This school year will be quite memorable.

Ms. Moon said...

I agree with Elizabeth. Dread is the perfect word. I wake up with it every day.
I better get out and take a walk myself.
I'm rooting for that little tree.

ellen abbott said...

some squirrel has been busy stocking up for the winter. that's a great picture and I saved it. being outside, literally and figuratively, can be so healing. sorry to hear covid is popping up at your school. stay safe.

Red said...

Looks like it was sunny and bright for your walk. That much covid in your school is alarming.

Sharon said...

I just heard on the news that England's numbers are increasing rather rapidly. Our numbers in Arizona are also going up but not quite as fast...yet. We have a lot of non-believers here. I love the cup of acorns. Sounds like you had another interesting walk on the Heath.

robin andrea said...

Looks like a nice walk there. Good to get out and leave the crazy world behind for a little while.
Really sorry to hear about more Covid cases. Take care there and stay safe and well.

Edna B said...

I'm sorry to hear of rising cases of covid at the school. You be careful. I love the photo of the acorns nestled in the tree. That Olga is so precious. What a fun photo of her in the grass. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

Catalyst said...

Maybe those ground nesting bees were gathering the acorns, readying for a pitched battle with the crab apples. Or not.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I'm glad school is at least monitoring things. What a mess. As for the crabapple, that's the same conversation SG and I would be having. SG: I think it's dying. Me: I think it's autumn...

Until the tree dies!

Beth Reed said...

I just love your Sunday walk. It is amazing what a great walk can do. I am going to be using my walker and my goal is to reach the creek down the street from us. It might take several tries to get all the way there but even if I just get out and walk a half a block then that is better than not trying at all.

I know that hornets and some wasps make their nests in the ground but I didn't know about bees but it does make sense that they would as well. The way the holes appear they may have entries thru the holes but underneath have a huge hive they share. This is just a guess as I really have no idea.

The purple is so pretty. A great backdrop for the brownish brush. You are so awesome to remember the names of so many things, trees, flowers, insects, I try but more often than not the names pop out of my mind as if I never knew them at all.

I hope that you, Dave and Olga have a great week ahead. I am so sorry to hear of the covid19 cases.