Trouble with storms


I was always taught that there was as much of a tree underground as there was above. So, if you look at the trunk, branches and twigs there should be a similar shape made by the roots. Now I am not sure because so many trees have been uprooted in the recent storms and the roots that I have seen do not match the volume of the above ground structure.

But I recently went to Carding Mill valley at Church Stretton and saw for myself the roots of a sycamore tree. It was growing on the side of the hill and through the years water has run down and eroded the soil leaving the roots looking just like an upside-down tree. As I watched people came up to it in turn and took photos of themselves with this remarkable vision which you do not often see. I hope that it has survived the gales.

The worse affected here have been the conifers with their heavy heads of evergreen foliage. Their roots certainly do not match their conical above ground shape. They are shallow rooted and one tree down our road has fallen on a northwest wind onto a house roof almost blocking the window. It will be quite a lot of work to remove it.

Luckily, we haven’t had any fallen trees but on a more mundane level we have had to buy a new washing machine. And that was quite hard work. As if the storms were not enough our machine started making strange noises. The spinning drum sounded like a door banging in the wind. The washer was old and there were quite a few other things wrong with it. We decided that we would have a new one. But which one do you choose? There are so many. And another thing is, how do you get the old one out and carry the new one in? They are weighted and very heavy. For once I did not use the internet but opted for a local supplier who braved the winds and did all the work. It cost more money though.

The robins here do not seem to have been affected by the bad weather. I knew that they had paired up already as there have been two feeding on the bird table. Robins are not normally seen together but, of course, they must pair up to breed.

I can see them out of the kitchen window using my nest box which last year sheltered a clutch of eight blue tits. Now the female robin is going in and out with a plentiful supply of debris scattered by the storm.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)


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