Much warmer today, but the heavy rain promised threw me a dummy by returning when I was miles from the city.
I had stopped at a miniature mobile coffee stand at the top of a long slope. I bought a mince pie and large tea when the temperature began to drop and the rain came in on a celestial tide. I could taste the brine of the North Sea on my lips – not an unpleasant flavour – as I cycled on as fast as I could.
On Monday I had passed a tree surgeon cutting up a fallen tree. Today, travelling solo, I afforded the fallen oak a closer look.
It had been a giant tree.
My photos do not give any idea of scale, but I estimate the base of the trunk, above the start of the buttressing root system, to have been close to six metres in circumference. The heart of these giant was powdered crumbs of wood. Luckily it had fallen away from the lane into the field.
What appears to be a tatty hedge is a halo marking the edge of the fall zone. The tatty hedge marks what remains of the crown.
The section of wood to the left, probably from a huge bough, shows the ring of fungal infection of the tree that would have weakened it over recent years. I wonder if any of the pieces can be retrieved for furniture, or carved art?
My own limbs were yellowing- white when I lowered myself into a reviving bath. I had been so cold in hand and foot that my walk from the bike lock-up to my apartment was painful. My hands so numb that unlocking the door difficult. Getting gloves and clothes off a struggle. However, no pain equals no gain.
I do feel great now, but that could have been the beans on cheese on toast, a cuppa and two slices of buttered cake. At least I earned my lunch today.
I had passed a Covid-19 testing station being set up on the inner ring road today. Signs of progress on that front here.