Through The Fence

On our walks allowed under the lockdown strictures, we sometimes pass the grounds of one of the Cambridge University colleges. The grounds adjoin a road, and then as one walks into the parkland, the grounds back onto what is effectively a moat. The moat divides the grounds from the public parkland.

When we first moved here I thought the water might be a branch of the river Cam, but the river is about three hundred metres further north.

The water here is just a ribbon that goes from point A to point B, and at the moment it is covered in fine green algae. I’ll photograph it at some point.

This scene however, is looking through the fence by the road. Can you see the bluebells just within the frame at the bottom? And a horse chestnut tree dominating the scene.

The thing is that I shot this with my phone (and iPhone 8) and I think that’s a done a pretty good job.

32 Comments

  1. Lovely depth in picture. Nothing like a bright accent, too

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chestnut blossom are so incredibly beautiful. Lucky you to actually have some at eye level! Catalpa are also similar, now that I think about it… Oh wait, not sure if you’ve ever seen them in Britain David? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalpa_bignonioides

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    1. Generally in the UK, no, but because we are in Cambridge there are a couple of Indian Bean Trees in the grounds of the colleges and one on the Green that is about 200 yards from where we live. As far as Horse Chestnuts go, there is an absolute cornucopia of them here in Cambridge – and an avenue of them along the road by where the ‘through the fence’ tree is. This year has been very good for their blossom.

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      1. Yes, there are several Catalpa species.

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        1. The Northern one is what I’ve seen growing here. (And i do realise that’s very awkward language, but I’m honestly too tired to work it out… :/)

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        2. I’m glad you said that, because in one of the colleges here there is a Bignonia that is not an Indian Bean tree – and I keep getting them mixed up – 🙂

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        3. Blast it, I may have lost my description of the ‘bean pods’ actually don’t contain beans, but are very well insulated against the cold

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        4. Quote: The ‘beans’ are the tree’s bean-like pods, which are very slim and almost perfectly cylindrical and can grow up to 16 inches in length. These pods contain winged seeds and remain on the tree throughout the winter before splitting and releasing the seeds.” End quote.

          I remember being surprised at how rigid the seed pods were – but then that was always later in the season. The tree on the Green near us has low-handing branches, so I will try to make it a point to examine a new pod.

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        5. They are incredibly strong because of of all that insulating fibre and almost childproof if you attempt to open them before they’re good and ready:/ The timing is critical for finding mature seed.

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        6. Ah, good to know.

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        7. Keep an eye on them for me would you David? With these restrictions I find myself ‘noticing’ things that’ve been right there all along (and I’m already a lot more observant than most, I reckon; )

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        8. I will. I might be able to make a video !

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  3. While their Native range is far from here, I have seen a few here in Ontario♥️

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  4. And is that Nettle in the absolute foreground, right David? And perhaps with a baby Chestnut just behind it?

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    1. I should go back with my ‘proper’ camera, but yes I think it is nettle and maybe deadnette – or they could be flowers dropped from the horse chestnut. I need to go back and look!

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      1. No, I mean I see a wee babe of a Chestnut growing there as well. It only has a few (maybe five?) leaf sets. Or it might also be an Engelmann’s Ivy? Sorry, once I really get looking… ; )

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        1. I shall make it a point to take my camera next time and to take a better photo.

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      2. (And there are no flowers, it’s all greenery what I’m looking at; )

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        1. Yes, – better photo needed – and I need to actually look at it properly when I am next there.

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        2. I love it when I see previously unnoticed details.

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        3. ‘Seeing’ is a discipline. It’s like peeling back layers of fog.

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        4. True. See more by not looking. They say that our peripheral vision actually notices more, particularly in lower light situations.

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        5. Definitely so. And our capacity for noticing small things that are ‘out of place’ is amazing.

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        6. Aye, an Inherited means of self defence…

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  5. Blast! Prematurely hit send:/
    Pod walls are thickly covered in fibre and contain very thin (and also furry) flat seeds that quietly float away when pods dry out – but only when warm breezes finally arrive… It took me YEARS to discover this phenomenon and only serendipity allowed that I actually noticed them floating away… : )

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    1. I’ve never seen the pods split open – the climate here may not suit them ripening to maturity. On a different tack, the plant we see here that sends clouds of spoors across waste ground is Rosebay willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium). It grows about three feet tall and has pretty pink flowers, and it grows everywhere that isn’t tamed or cultivated. It has a near neigbour named Codlins and Cream – lovely name, eh? Similar colour flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, that’s a keeper! Check out all the medicinal uses David: https://pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Epilobium+angustifolium
        And here we call it Fireweed as it is often a pioneer species after forest fire. This plant brings back fond memories of camping trips long past: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamaenerion_angustifolium

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        1. I’m getting an education – it has so many uses. And I like the name ‘bombweed’ for the way it grew in shell craters. Reminds me of red poppies that grew on the WW I battlefields after the end of hostilities.

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        2. Speaking of Red Poppies and WW1, did you happen to see the display a few years back – hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies arrayed around the Tower of London? “It took 300 of us a year to make 888,246 flowers…”
          https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/mar/05/how-we-made-tower-of-london-poppies-paul-cummins-tom-piper
          No real mention of the Potters who did the work, but the rest of us know they did; )

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        3. Yes, we couldn’t help but see it here. It was on the news several times. I had mixed feeling about it. On the one hand, people fought to protect themselves from oppression as they saw it. On the other hand, ordinary people paid for the ideas of those who did not have to take a front row seat.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Ah yes, well there’s always the idea that wars would be much shorter if fought by the Generals…

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