Arnside and beyond

By gladders

How to recognise trees from quite a long way away

No 1. The Larch

One of the Pythons' more inane sketches?

This one grows at the top of Redhills Pasture on the Knott, just before the National Trust gate. I've always ignored it for sunset photos previously in favour of the small buckthorn tree just beyond it. But today it was looking quite attractive, still in its leafless Winter plumage with small cones that mark it out from quite a long way away as a deciduous conifer, and it's a small step from there to diagnosis as a larch.

This part of the Knott is a bit risky with Gus, there is a seat with views over the village and the viaduct to Whitbarrow and the High Fells beyond. This is a popular spot for stopping for a sandwich, and Gus has sussed this out as productive for scavenging. Some commenters say he looks wise, and indeed he is in many respects, but he does have a weakness for hoovering up anything edible, and he has a corresponding weakness in his digestive system. Last night he had us up at 1am with tummy ache. For all his wisdom, he never learns to discern what is safely edible for him. Let's hope he didn't pick anything up this evening while I was focussing on this.

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