Inside a thousand year old tree

This is the last of my catch-up posts, and these pictures were taken about a month ago. I wrote about Hambledon church with its 1000 year old yew tree here, and a week or so later I went back and ventured inside the hollow trunk of the tree (quite a brave move for me, as I have an unfortunate insect phobia). I think the textures and colours of that old, old wood are really stunning. I’m quite glad that the flash photo didn’t reveal an enormous spider dangling inches above my head. šŸ˜‰

amazing textures

 

inside the yew

There are some other pictures from that day too, which all look a bit out of date now. I’ll be interested to go there (maybe on Friday) and see how the rapeseed looks now that the flowers are gone, and take some shots of the ripening wheat.

I posted a while ago about Chicken of the Woods, an edible fungus that is often found on dead or ailing trees (as it often causes rot within the tree). It’s quite a spectacular fungus though, and reputed to taste like… you guessed it… chicken. I’ve noticed that I get quite a few hits on the blog from people who have searched for chicken of the woods recipe. I haven’t posted a recipe as this fungus gives some people an upset stomach. I’ve therefore not been tempted to try it. šŸ™‚ If you are tempted though, this site gives comprehensive identification and safety information, as well as recipes. There’s a couple of pictures below of a rather impressive specimen I found recently which had lots of little ladybird-like beetles on. I think they might be harlequin ladybirds, which sometimes have splodges on, but they lack the white face patches. I’ll probably ask on this brilliant site, which is chock full of experts on every wildlife category you can imagine, who are very kind about sharing their knowledge.

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5 thoughts on “Inside a thousand year old tree

  1. Love the beautiful contrasts of the different colours of the wood inside that wonderful tree! We lost a large old beech tree nearby during gales earlier this year and remember large fungi at the base of it which, when we think about it, could well have been chicken of the woods. Could this have been the reason the tree came down?

  2. I wonder if all the trees are hollow inside… Are you sure that this tree was not on a film set? Beware! A lot of hollow trees caused by lightning. Beautiful photos as usual!

    • Thank you Charles! I don’t think this one was lightning struck as it is still very much alive and thriving (unlike the ones they built on the skyfall set!). I think it’s the sheer age of the tree that has made it hollow; the core has rotted away but the outer layer is still sound. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to stand inside it.

  3. Pingback: Wishing you a Happy Easter/Spring/Eostre/insert your festival of choice… ;-) | The Foraging Photographer

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