And now…the Larch
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.