The Tuesday tree: rowan
I think we had our summer last Friday. This week we are stuck in the groove of mostly single-figure temperatures and grey drizzly skies again but, for one day only, it was a sunny twenty-six degrees Celsius. The powers that be clearly don’t share my opinion of athletics, as they kindly bestowed this burst of sunshine upon the school Sports Day.
At some point in the afternoon, then, we felt the need to seek some shade. Parking the boys under a tree with something to eat, I noticed that the shade was provided by a beautiful rowan (Sorbus aucuparia).
I’m pleased to see a rowan, as they remind me of the west of Scotland, where I grew up. They are extremely hardy, growing higher up the mountainsides than any other tree, and they will find a niche to thrive in wet, rocky places where nothing much else will. This one in the grounds of the school is living a very soft life. It is frothy with blossom at the moment, which the bees and other insects love.
Rowan is sometimes known as the mountain ash, but is in fact a member of the rose family, Rosaceae. Like the true ash, however, it has pairs of leaflets in perfect symmetry. You can clearly see them here silhouetted against the blue sky.
Peering out at today’s dreich grey sky, I ask myself, was it really that blue?