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Watch out!

February 18, 2014

When you head out for a walk in the woods…,18.2.14-1


…do you ever, after a while, start to get the feeling…,18.2.14-2



…that you are being watched?,18.2.14-3



This is a beech tree, part of an avenue planted for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. In the course of training up the trees to form a proper avenue, most of their lower limbs were lopped. The later growth around the wounds gives the unnerving appearance of multiple eyes. Actually, my younger son suggested a different bit of anatomy – but I think that eyes are quite bad enough.

These watchful beeches are close to the creepiest tree on the estate, which you can meet in The living dead.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2014 7:15 pm


  2. February 18, 2014 8:52 pm

    How bizarre, alien-like!

  3. February 18, 2014 10:38 pm

    WOW – that is surreal. Could be in Wonderland or a Disney cartoon or a horror story. They say the woods have eyes – and they do. Cool

    • February 18, 2014 11:40 pm

      Looking at it again, it reminds me a bit of a movie by Guillermo del Toro, ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, which featured a monster whose eyes were in the palms of its hands. [shudders]

  4. February 19, 2014 12:23 am

    I have a feeling that your son’s suggestion is less….poetic…. Ah, boys! 🙂

  5. February 19, 2014 11:50 am

    Love this, and your son’s sense of humour! The tree has taken the ultimate revenge for having its branches lopped! 🙂

  6. February 20, 2014 8:12 pm

    well, the chicken version of that other bit of anatomy, is what I thought of. But they are eyes of course. And two nostrils right below.
    Poor tree….I should not make fun of him. He won’t like it….

  7. Karin Van den Bergh permalink
    February 21, 2014 10:55 pm

    That is creepy!

    • February 22, 2014 8:18 pm

      Weird, isn’t it? But not half as creepy as the ‘Living Dead’ hornbeam I mentioned. Eugh.

  8. February 22, 2014 2:44 pm

    Your son’s imagination makes me chortle, but I agree – that’s a spooky sight to see when out for a nice walk. 🙂

    • February 22, 2014 8:21 pm

      Walks are often enlivened by the children’s imagination! As we passed the creepy hornbeam, my older boy pretended to be a zombie and started chasing the younger; then they both had a lovely time daring each other to go and stand under the hornbeam and scaring each other silly. When they came back, I pointed out the eyes on the beeches. Much shrieking and running off of energy ensued! 🙂

  9. Mary K. in Rockport permalink
    February 23, 2014 9:33 pm

    That is one unnerving tree. I’ve never seen anything like it in these parts (northeast USA.)

    • February 23, 2014 11:14 pm

      To be honest, Mary, I can’t say I’ve ever noticed anything like it here before either!

  10. Lucy Corrander permalink
    March 9, 2014 9:50 am

    I would find these ‘eyes’ simultaneously creepy and absorbing.

    I’ve been introduced to your blog by Diana Studer of Elephant’s Eye – .

    My own blog is Loose and Leafy – where we have a Tree Following project. Diana thought you might be interested in joining in because you have so many trees.

    The idea is to choose one tree and ‘follow’ it through the year – what it does and when, what happens to it, the plants which grow around it and on it, lichens, animals, insects and birds which rely on it . . . anything and everything relating to that individual tree.

    Once a month there will be a Link box on Loose and Leafy so people can put URL links to their tree following posts. The first is on the blog already (March).

    Each box will be put on the blog on 7th of the month and stay open 7 days.

    There’s information and a list of participants here

    and it would be great if you would consider joining us.


    • March 9, 2014 11:13 pm

      Thanks very much for contacting me, Lucy. I’ll have a look and will certainly consider joining you, if time permits. It sounds a wonderful idea.

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