TF0820 : Hawthorn in hedgerow - 18

taken 2 years ago, near to Bourne, Lincolnshire, Great Britain

Hawthorn in hedgerow - 18
Hawthorn in hedgerow - 18
variation in leaf size and form in one shot
Hawthorn Hedgerow TF0820

There is a stream out of Bourne Woods which flows toward the town and ends up culverted at the end of Christopher's Lane, before flowing into the Eau. It skirts the grazing field close to the Northern edge of grid square TF0820. A very old hedge, mostly of hawthorn, separates the stream from the field. A public footpath lies to the south of the hedge (and is currently fenced off from the cattle in the field).

As I say, much of this hedge is formed of Hawthorn, and that is where it gets interesting. There is a huge variety of specimens, with different leaf sizes and styles, and blossoms too. So I thought I would collect examples from along this hedge, over the 400 metres or so of its existence, just to show the different forms. My study starts at TF 0839 2098, will stretch as far as TF 0869 2089

We are blessed with two species of Hawthorn hereabouts, the Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and the Midland Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata). But there is a great deal of variation in each, and they hybridise extensively too. There have also been commercial cultivars produced at various times over the last 3 centuries, specifically for hedging. Identifying Hawthorn is a mug's game.

Although it took me a while to geolocate all of these, and to submit them (don't want my audience getting bored!) all the images were taken over a short period from the 17th to the 20th of May 2020, as the whole point was to highlight variety - I didn't want the specimens changing through time.

Constrained by a pandemic TF0820

Beginning in early February, even before the official requirement to stay at home during the Covid-19 shutdown, I was self-isolating at home. Because it seemed a responsible thing for a couple in less than youthful condition to do. That has somewhat altered my opportunities for photography.

Geograph has a category for pictures of the impact of current events, but these pictures do not fit into that category (I have also added a few there). Instead I shall flag them as those I have taken within my much reduced range of operations. These, then, generally are not photographs OF the pandemic, merely normal ones taken DURING it.

By the end of April I was also making audio recordings of birdsong at some of the photograph locations, exploiting the unusual absence of background traffic noise and the splendour of the birdsong in bright sunny weather. The audio recordings are saved in the Wikimedia Commons system, where a built-in playback device appears on the page for each. I have linked to the individual recordings in the photograph description, and the whole set can be viewed at LinkExternal link

I am lucky to live at the edge of town, adjacent to Bourne Woods, where I can walk my dogs and take the occasional picture of nature and the like. I could, of course, walk further than this, but not if I combine it with exercising the dogs. One of our dogs is arthritic, and cannot cope with more than about 40 minutes of exercise.

By the time we had reached early May, the poor creature was even less tolerant of lengthy excursions, and the rising undergrowth was making novel and informative photography less straightforward, so the odd trip without the dog was added.

By June national restrictions had been somewhat lifted, but I was in no rush to re-join the throngs braving infection. But by Mid-June I was finding the effort to sustain large numbers of daily posts exhausting, and I decided to cut back activity in that regard.

By now I was wondering if this collection should be closed, as I was breaking my isolation once a week for food shopping, and taking my camera with me. But I remained convinced that precautions were still required, and thus continued my defiance of the circumstances.

In August the public (me excluded) were acting as though it was all over, and the disease came roaring back with the start of the academic year, and steadily worsened after that.

Things worsened. By November Wales was in a 'firebreak' lockdown, and England followed suit until the start of December, supposedly to 'save Christmas'. A 5 day relaxation of the rules was promised for that festival.

But by mid December the upward disease trajectory was resumed, and markedly so. Restrictions remained, and I continued this micro-project beyond 1500 images. Spring and summer were a succession of botanical illustrations, in Autumn I documented the seasonal colours, and in winter was left with just the weather to illustrate. But in England that is of infinite variation.

So, the winter of 2020 and 2021 wore on, and my daily record sustained me through those frustrating months. I managed to find new things to see, and say, despite the dormancy around me, and the arrival of the first flush of spring was accompanied by a government instruction to shield for the month of March. But nothing changed here: we were effectively doing that as much as we could. My daily exercise with the dogs did not break the rules, and did not involve anything but the most distant of human encounters.

The infection wore away as those months progressed. By the beginning of April the extra restriction on our household was gone; the infections in the general population were closer to being under control, and the much awaited vaccinations were being more successful than we ever hoped. But the restrictions on leaving home were still in place then, and the plan was to allow Pubs and Restaurants to open in the middle of the month but only for the outdoor trade. This pandemic has a long way to run. When it all started, I imagined at least a two year restriction on life, and writing here 14 months on I see no reason to modify that prediciton.

In Mid April the end came for my older dog, Inca, who could no longer tolerate the pain of movement. I had nursed her through the winter, and she sustained me too with continual affection and enthusiasm. But all good things must come to an end, and as we spotted some sort of end to the fell plague around her, she met her own far less deserved end. She will be sorely missed. Inca has featured in some of these images, and reviewing them will always be both a solace and a sorrow. For that is the Human condition, and the Canine one too.

April saw, too, some relaxation of the constraints on us that have slowed the spread of the disease. I did allow myself some occasional visits to nearby villages with no chance of meeting folk. They don't appear here.

As spring turned into summer, I took slightly more of these lonely expeditions to places of interest, and by June was planning work visits to customer sites, all of which were cancelled by outbreaks of the disease. But I was starting the question the validity of this collection nevertheless.

Toward the end of the second July, with most of the extended family vaccinated, including the older teenagers, we made a trip two hours across the fens to attend a family get-together, the first such gathering since Christmas 2019. And I have decided that will mark the end of my complete isolation, and to close this collection with that trip. The last images to be flagged as "constrained by the pandemic" are those in July 2021.

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TF0820, 3189 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 23 May, 2020   (more nearby)
Saturday, 23 May, 2020
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Boundary, Barrier 
Near (from Tags)
Plant (from Tags)
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TF 0865 2089 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:46.4806N 0:23.4497W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TF 08657 20889
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Hawthorn Hedgerow 

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