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And now…the Larch

April 23, 2014

Could you recognise a larch from quite a long way away? The Monty Python team could. Thanks to them, I cannot write about larch trees with a straight face; so we’d better have a look at the relevant sketch before I can carry on.

 

Good, now that’s out of the way, I can show you why I like larches. These deciduous conifers are very much part of the landscape here on the edge of the Scottish Highlands. In the autumn their needles turn the hillsides mellow gold; in spring, their fresh new green exhales energy.

 

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Down by the river, where we are fishing this week, the gloriously sunny Easter weekend has brought everything bursting into life.These graceful swooping branches belong to larch trees. There have been some Aprils when we have fished in snowstorms, and there was barely a hint of green bud to be seen on the larches: theirs is the growth by which I measure the coming of spring.

 

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As well as their sprays of new soft needles, larches at this time of year bear what look at first glance like little pink blossoms.

 

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These are what will become the cones of autumn. You can see last year’s papery cones still attached to the branches beside the  new pink ones.

 

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These spring larches by the river always bring cheer to the fishermen: we all seem to compare notes on how they are coming along and how beautiful their new green looks. They are lovely trees, both in close-up and, indeed, from quite a long way away. Monty Python, take note.

 

There is more about spring larches, amongst other trees, in Too many trees.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. boyd hussey, (Douglas Ontario Canada) permalink
    April 23, 2014 1:47 am

    such lovely closeups. these are known also as tamarack over here. we have quite a few on the property. there is one very large one on the front lawn that my mother transplanted there in 1970. they have such grace and finesse and their final burst of gold in the fall says winter is here. beautiful tree

  2. April 23, 2014 5:52 pm

    Larches are one of my favourite trees and by far my favourite conifer, and yes, I can recognise one from a long way away. Like you I love the soft fresh green of spring and the gold of autumn and also the bare, lacy boughs of winter.

  3. Nib's End permalink
    April 23, 2014 6:05 pm

    There is something enchanting in that first mist of green; it makes my heart flutter and puts a spring in my stride. Here in Chicago we are a step or two behind you, but the willows and burning bush are beginning to sing.

    I wish I could join you at the edge of the river–so lovely. I don’t fish, but I would be very still and quiet and try not to bother anyone. I could bring sandwiches to share. And a thermos of tea. And cake…

    • April 23, 2014 7:54 pm

      I barely fish either: I organise the lunch for the hungry fishermen, then potter along the riverbank, drinking in the calm and the beauty. You certainly have the right attitude to enjoy it – especially if you bring tea and cake! 🙂

  4. April 23, 2014 6:22 pm

    Lovely photos! I hadn’t seen that Monty Python sketch – lunatics! Larch trees are so beautiful when they’re first coming out.

    • April 23, 2014 8:05 pm

      Thanks. I’m not a hard- core Python fan but they are tremendous fun in small doses!

  5. April 23, 2014 8:48 pm

    Lovely, tranquil photos. I’m not aware of any larches in our area, but I’ll now know how to recognise them!

  6. April 23, 2014 9:31 pm

    We drove past what was probably your bit of river at the start of the week and saw some fishing activity – I did wonder if it was you! How has the fishing been so far?

    • April 24, 2014 10:45 am

      You can’t see our beats from the road, but you must have been close. Good week so far, including my wee boy landing a fifteen pounder on Easter Monday! All fish are returned to the river at this time of year, though, so we didn’t get ourselves a fish supper. 😉

  7. April 26, 2014 9:52 pm

    I love “the Larch”! Her branches are so graceful – she looks like a young girl wearing a party dress – the old fashioned kind….. and thank you for continuing to share trees 🙂 I don’t comment much and am not good at keeping up with blogs at the moment but often think of your lovely castle wonderland 🙂

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