Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Yet another Daventry visit

A lovely morning tempted me into Daventry today and I decided to extend my walk by going via Stefen Leys Pocket Park. In truth there was nothing dramatic to be seen, this bracket fungus, Fomes fomentarius, being nationally very common. It is generally known as the Hoof Fungus and some are remarkably equine. Apparently Otzi the Iceman carried four pieces of this fungus, perhaps to be used as tinder. I found a few other fungi but I haven't yet decided what species they are.

Hoof Fungus, Fomes fomentarius, in Stefen Leys Pocket Park, Daventry.
11 December, 2018

On to the churchyard of Holy Cross. Examining the headstones on graves may sound a morbid occupation but some of the features can be curious, as in: 



A headstone in the churchyard of Holy Cross, Daventry.11 December, 2018

Today, referring to a widow as a 'relict' would be considered almost offensive but I have on other occasions come across the word used in this archaic sense, as I'm sure have many of my readers.

The churchyard is often a litter-strewn mess but it looks as though a big effort has gone into tidying it up. A stroll there today was a pleasant experience. 'A real oasis' was how a man, propped up against a sun-drenched headstone, put it to me.

The traditional Christmas Tree is a Norway Spruce and sadly many urban people are probably unaware of what a lovely tree a fully-grown specimen can be. But of course in Daventry they only need to visit their local churchyard. Its cones have a beautiful shape, far more attractive than the small and stubby cones of Scots Pine.

Norway Spruce with cones. Holy Cross churchyard, Daventry.
11 December, 2018

Nowadays the Norway Spruce is often replaced by the Nordmann Fir, Pinus nordmannia. It seems to me a less graceful tree when fully grown but, to be fair, I can only recall having seen one mature specimen.

I finally get to town, with every shop full of Christmas music. Oh dear...

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