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The Tuesday tree: conifers for moongazers

February 7, 2012

As fellow moongazers will know, there is a full moon tonight. You’ll notice, then, that these photos were taken a few days ago. ‘Our’ moon rises between a stand of tall conifers at the end of the lawn in front of the castle, so we have a wonderful view of it from the front door as it floats slowly up through the trees like a helium balloon. Tonight’s full moon was spectacular, glowing amber through thin pink cloud as it rose: sadly my camera could not do it justice. I like these shots, though, which I took on Saturday afternoon, soon after five.

This first was taken looking out from under an ancient yew. The shorter looking (actually just further away) trees in the centre are Douglas firs, with their characteristic floppy tops. Am I allowed to say that I’ve always thought that they look a little effete? The tallest tree in the photo is a massive Sitka spruce. To get an idea of its size, you can just make out the bare branches of a fully mature sycamore (a century old or more) in front of it. Some Christmas tree!

In the photo below, you can see the Sitka on the left and, on the right, a most un-characteristic Douglas fir, at least for us. This is a different variety from our floppy ones. To my eyes, it is not nearly as appealing: stiff and rather dull. I am glad that it is the softer variety that was planted in such numbers here in the first half of the nineteenth century, making up the glorious cathedrals of mature trees that we enjoy today. Give me the swooping fronds and sweet fragrance of the more ‘effete’ Douglases any day.

You might enjoy In praise of the Douglas fir, which gives more about their history here.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2012 9:31 pm

    Love the trees in snow lesson. Universal scenes – timeless feel

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      February 8, 2012 10:23 am

      Thanks. Same moon all over the world, as they say.

  2. February 7, 2012 10:41 pm

    Lovely, DB, though I know what you mean about the difficulty of capturing the moon properly. Such atmospheric pictures.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      February 8, 2012 10:25 am

      The long smouldering dawns and dusks, at times when you can be outside enjoying them, are one of the things I like about this time of year.

  3. February 8, 2012 12:14 am

    I keep trying to get good moon shots and none of them are to my satisfaction. I think I need a better camera. Your cathedral of mature trees is very, very nice.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      February 8, 2012 10:46 am

      None of my moon shots are to my satisfaction either. I blame the camera too – funny, that.

  4. February 8, 2012 7:56 am

    I don’t think I’ve read such definite conifer preferences in blog land before!
    Yes, the moon is fiendishly difficult. If there were a course just on moon photography it would be filled in a trice with frustrated bloggers.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      February 8, 2012 10:48 am

      Oh help, you’re right, I have become a conifer geek! It happens to everyone who lives here, we are helpless to its onset.

  5. Val permalink
    February 8, 2012 2:14 pm

    Beautiful shots. The moon isn’t easy to photograph unless one has a tripod. I’d have liked to have got a shot of it here last night but my camera isn’t up to it really.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      February 9, 2012 3:44 pm

      Ah, so many of us bloggers sighing for the moon!

  6. hmunro permalink
    February 8, 2012 3:22 pm

    Beautiful shots, DB. Love the first one especially … great composition. (Some Christmas trees, indeed! 🙂

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      February 9, 2012 3:43 pm

      Thank you, Heather. To be honest I didn’t really consciously notice the composition of the first one until I saw it on the computer: instinct, or beginner’s luck, or something.

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