A Huge Pat Of Rooted Soil

Power was returned to Elizabeth’s home during the night. After lunch she returned to sort things out then join us for dinner before settling back into Burnt House Lane.

Our storms seem to be over, and we enjoyed a much brighter afternoon when we shopped at Ferndene then continued on a forest drive.

Along Lyndhurst Road

A newly broken tree prompted me to disembark beneath Lucy Hill and explore this microcosm of forest ecology. Storm Franklin could not uproot this small oak, but it was strong enough to shatter the trunk and leave it standing where it will stay until it gradually disintegrates.

Previous skeletal remains are never far from each new casualty

gradually returning to the soil from whence it sprang years before.

Another giant, clearly hollowed with age has received it last push to crash to the ground, breaking up already dead timber.

The mossy roots and sturdy trunk of this large oak seem firm enough, but one long branch now leans against it.

Shadows fell across the slopes of the hill.

Further along the road, also bearing shadows on its verges

a really massive fallen oak must have blocked the thoroughfare until really heavy vehicles left their tracks in the churned up mud. Trees still standing were reflected in the overnight rain pool beside the huge pat of rooted soil.

On our way home a pair of ponies crossed from the sunlit side of Rhinefield Road onto the more shady area.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes; firm Brussels sprouts; and crunchy carrots and cauliflower, followed by mixed fruit crumble and ice cream. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, Elizabeth finished the Toscana, and I drank more of the Douro.


  1. So glad the storms have given you all a break. Your photos of the damage and the clean up are a good documentation.
    So glad Elizabeth got home…there’s no place like home. πŸ™‚
    Love the light and shadow photos…especially seeing the light and shadows playing on the road.
    The oak trunk seems to have a face. πŸ™‚

  2. Lots of mangled and fallen trees in your area Derrick, but I dare say, things could have been worse my friend … great to see things have settled down ..

  3. Every area seems to have suffered from the storms and fallen trees during the past week.
    In a year or so someone will make a tidy profit from the fallen trees near you once they’re seasoned, chopped and split into log burner size.

  4. Sausages in red wine sound like an interesting dish. Miam.
    That storm really hit you guys…
    I haven’t seen news on the UK. I hope the damage was limited. And no casualties hopefully.
    It is sad to see any old tree torn to the ground isn’t it?
    Enjoy the rest of the Douro

  5. I hope no ponies or other animals were injured or killed by falling trees. Any sign of Hattie and Hortense?

    I agree, that golden post-storm light is beautiful.

  6. I so love those mossy roots and forest ponies. The old trunk definitely has some kind of face to go with the limbs. I can’t help but wonder if some of the broken trees might sprout new growth.

  7. Storms are so unpredictable and take an “axe” without even considering the fall out.
    Do the forestry people plant new trees as others are lost…

  8. Arboreal mayhem caused by the storms have been documented in detail and with a journalistic fervour. It is a specialised genre of photography of which you must be one of the prominent members on the entire planet.

      1. Oh I am glad to hear that and I am actually glad you didn’t get to it yet! Because I am just diving in and would love to be in sync a bit with you – because last year Trent and I waited far too long to read and it was after your posts
        Anyhow – so excited to see what you share and it made my day to read that
        Have a good day and hello to Jackie

  9. That must have been some storm. Wow. And, once again you managed to make me hungry by your recital of dinner even though I had an adequate dinner… and it just reminded me that my leftovers from dinner at a restaurant with friends are still in my car! I’m off to retrieve them. Thanks….

  10. The backlit ponies make a beautiful show. “Previous skeletal remains are never far from each new casualty” takes me back to a visit to the Kruger National Park during a period of extreme drought when the veld was littered with skeletal remains of animals alongside carcasses of animals that had succumbed to the lack of food and water. A grim picture indeed. Both the trees you describe and those animals indeed return to enrich the earth – a fine example of the the circle of life.

  11. Ooooohhh, mixed fruit crumble sounds fantastic, sorry I missed it. The might oak can take a lot of punishment. Will folks help themselves to fallen timber for firewood? I’ve heard of amateur carpenters who would collect fallen wood to make furniture.

  12. We noticed more fallen trees after Franklin than after the previous two storms. I do feel sad when I see these venerable trees sprawling on the ground. i am pleased Elizabeth has been able to go back to her home again.

  13. The storm did a bit of damage, Derrick. While your storm was raging, we were away visiting a national game park. Today, we have had a brutal storm and the roads all flooded. There were branches and tree debris littering the road when I drove home.

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