Thursday, May 08, 2008

Irish monkey madness

As a follow up to the recent post on Monkey Puzzles here's a few more images. I mentioned in that post that Monkey Puzzles often develop a somewhat unsightly leggy appearance and here's an example from an Irish hotel just south of Dublin. I don't suppose one can find too much fault with this habit if you consider the evolutionary pressure they presumably came under from Sauropod dinosaurs early in their history.


You can just about make out the brown male cones at the top of this tree's crown. I don't think I've come across a mature female tree yet (a bit of a shame as I'm intrigued by these supposedly delicious nuts they have). Monkey Puzzles seemed to do well in this corner of Ireland as I found this stunning row of them in a nearby church.

monkey puzzle

This was a lovely old churchyard (I think I've mentioned the oft-noted relationship between established churchyards and awesome specimen trees before) in which I spotted 3 tit species and then had a bit of a birding progress moment: finding goldcrest on call for the first time. Unfortunately we then realised we were at the wrong church and had to leave sharpish to get to the wedding we were attending (yes, we got to the church on time) so my birding was curtailed.

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