A hawthorn in Bransdale

Have you ever noticed the sudden drop in temperature and light by the shadows cast by drifting Cumulus clouds? Shadows that creep over the ground on a sunny day. The flowers of this hawthorn tree are blazing in the sun whilst across the dale, the hillside is dark and gloomy. Many hawthorns are now losing their flowers but this one is still in full bloom. Perhaps that’s because it’s a proper tree, not the hedgerow bush you usually see in the lowlands. Hawthorns are an invaluable food source for wildlife. It has been recorded that 149 species of insects are associated with hawthorn, in contrast to the rhododendron which has absolutely no insects associated with it. Zilch. Another name is the may-tree, and in Devon, it was known as the hagthorn whilst in Ireland, it is the fairy tree however a more common regional name is the poor man’s bread-and-cheese.
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