Monday, 3 March 2014

    I heard a noise that I couldn't place at 1.30am on 14th February... a long roaring, ripping noise followed by a 'woomphhh'. Next morning when Dyson and I were in the park it became obvious what it had been. One of the mighty, and beautiful Cedar of Lebanon's had fallen during the night. I cried. I don't know what it is about trees but they make me feel so emotional; I can't watch one being felled on TV without getting a lump in my throat.  I've known that tree my whole life, sat under it's shade, sheltered from rain there, fed squirrels (pre-Dyson days!), clambered over the lower branches when I was a child,  loved the way it held snow in winter...
The snowy splendour of the fallen cedar.

Seed, scale and male 'cone'

It seemed appropriate that I record the tree somehow so I picked up a bit of a branch, some scales leftover from squirrel feasting, found a seed and a male cone. I drew them for my own illustrated journal and thought they'd make a good subject for the sketchbook exchange. When this tree was a twinkle in it's daddy's eye, GeorgeII was on the throne, when it was a sapling ..George III. The Stock Exchange was first set up, Captain Cook started giving lemon juice to his sailors to prevent scurvy, the worlds first Ironbridge was built over the Severn at Coalbrookdale and the Industrial revolution was just getting going. When it was planted into the park's landscape the Napoleonic Wars were starting to rumble in Europe. 

Maybe I'm right to feel emotion about 'just' a tree after all! It could tell us a million stories and my attempts at preserving it into the future in Jarnie's sketchbook are a poor memorial but one that will live on for a bit and take the tree into a future it sadly won't be having in the park.

The double page spread. To be finished with a bit of text.


  1. Great story Terri. Such a grand tree and to save it's memory in your journal is so special. And that drawing is just incredible! You have a great talent!

  2. Oh, wow, thanks Debbie.- that's very kind of you. I'm now fearing for the other cedars... ground so water-logged. They are such a lovely feature of the park.

  3. Such a poignant reminder of just how old trees that we take as quite ordinary really can be. A beautiful tribute to an important part of your personal memories. Thank you Terri for sharing and I will treasure these pages. :)

  4. A so lovely way for remembering the beauty and the importance of this wonderful tree. I had too a small cedar in my garden that suddenly felt down, broken in its trunk near its ground ! I looked at the break and noticed that the tree was invaded by a lot of big woodworms !!!

  5. Terri, lovely to meet you this morning - this is a stunning picture. I hope you don't mind I have attached this link to an email I have sent to the Council about my views on this magnificent tree being removed from squirrel park. ( If I could have worked out how to get your e-mail, I would have contacted you that way) If you would like me to send you a copy - please email me on and/or you would like to be kept in the loop about the friends of Squirrel Park (sorry NHP!) Hope to see you soon. Karen