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The Tuesday tree: last of the limes

November 8, 2011

Autumn is in its end game now. There is still some glorious colour in the landscape, but leaves are drifting down even when the air is still, and many trees are already bare. The long avenues of ancient lime trees are almost naked.

Here and there a fruit still clings on.

In more sheltered spots, there are still a few pale leaves on the lime trees, but the trunks are bare enough to reveal the strange witches’ nests of twigs which some lime trees scribble for themselves. These enormous masses make wonderful hiding places for birds and small animals: our dogs are driven to a frenzy of excitement by the occasional discovery of a rabbit hiding several feet up a lime tree, completely safe in its impenetrable den.

Just a few limes still have green leaves on them. These are a mixture of young saplings, and old trees in the shelter of a high wall. While their topmost branches are completely stripped, the ones in the lee of the wall are holding on to a few leaves for a little while yet.

Some of the leaves seem to be showing every season at once.

The thick golden carpet under the trees, though, shows that even the last green lime leaves will be falling soon.

You can see these same trees in winter in Lime blue, and in their lush summer greenery in Under the linden trees, but not in Berlin.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2011 6:05 pm

    How beautiful trees are, naked, half dressed or otherwise! Lovely post thank you. It’s getting nippy, I see you’ve got your gloves out! Cheers fay

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      November 8, 2011 10:53 pm

      Aren’t they just. Aye, it was a wee bit nippy at the weekend, with our first hard frosts and a freezing bonfire night. At least it’s not cold enough to be wearing fingerless gloves indoors yet – but no doubt that’ll come!

  2. Perpetua permalink
    November 8, 2011 10:44 pm

    Such noble trees at any season, DB. Still bright, but now much windier here in the far north and our few, often twisted trees will soon be completely bare. Winter is just about here…

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      November 8, 2011 10:56 pm

      I wonder which of us will get snow first! It’s mild and foggy again here, so I don’t think we’ll get any soon. Must be beautiful up there with the moon nearly at the full.

  3. November 8, 2011 11:54 pm

    What great pictures. The trees in the first ones look like they are dancing. And the jumble of twigs and stuff in the lime trees is really interesting! I’d love to see rabbits peeking out of that. Thanks for the great views.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      November 9, 2011 6:51 pm

      Looking again at those trees that I see every day, I see you are right: they do seem to be lined up for a dance. Perhaps they do a slow do-si-do when the humans are all sleeping. 😉

  4. Toffeeapple permalink
    November 9, 2011 9:30 am

    How lovely, I hadn’t realised how big Limes became; beauties aren’t they? I was surprised to learn that rabbits climb trees, I should love to see that..

    I do hope that the snow holds off for quite some time.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      November 9, 2011 6:55 pm

      Yes, these limes are very tall. We think that they are not far off 300 years old. I’ve never seen a rabbit climbing either, but they do; or rather, I think they just scramble up into the whiskery trees that grow on a bank near the house, so they don’t actually have to do any proper climbing.

  5. Margaret Lambert permalink
    November 9, 2011 7:22 pm

    I am fascinated by the tangled, nest-like growth in your lime tree. It seems almost parasitic, like mistletoe. I can see how useful it’d be as shelter for small creatures, yet there is something a bit frightening and repellant about it as well. Just my imagination at work over-time!

  6. November 9, 2011 9:40 pm

    I’ve posted an explanation for you about f stops – lol, as my children would say…

    Love your intimate exploration of the lime – a real essay on ‘inscape’, in a Gerard Manley Hopkins sort of way.

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