Eyes Wide Open

In Eaves wood on Friday I noticed that a yew I passed was covered in small yellow flowers. Standing right next door was another yew without flowers. I couldn’t remember seeing yew flowers before. For the rest of day I kept my eyes peeled. I passed many yew trees, but only a few had the yellow flowers on. So, what’s going on?

Apparently, yews are dioecious, which is to say that each tree is either male or female. Only the male trees have the yellow flowers. Female flowers are green and much less noticeable. Only female trees have the red berries in autumn. I also read that the flowers generally appear in March, so some of the other trees that I examined were probably male, but not yet in flower.

I also noticed that some of the many hollies I passed still retained some of their berries. (Holly is another dioecious species)

By one of the paths in Eaves Wood a large owl nesting box has been erected in a tree. I think that I’ve seen it before, but had completely forgotten about it.

Near Silverdale Moss back in the woods is the shell of a tall ruined building. Except in the winter the leaves on the trees will almost certainly obscure it, but I’ve been this way in winter many times before and I can’t remember ever noticing it.

Have I been walking around with blinkers on or is my memory just very selective? Or both?

The knowledge that I will be writing the blog has definitely made me take more careful note of what I see on my walks, and I am sure that I have enjoyed them more as a consequence. It has also made me think more carefully about where I go. On Sunday morning I set out thinking: “Haven’t been to Jenny Brown’s point since I started my blog.” – so I ended up heading that way.


A generally bright and very windy day today. When the showers came they brought a rainbow and since Amy is currently obsessed with rainbows, that was ok.


Driving home from Arnside this evening a roe deer hopped over the wall in front of me, crossed the road and then effortlessly sprang over the fence and disappeared into the woods at Gait Barrows.

Eyes Wide Open

2 thoughts on “Eyes Wide Open

  1. Your post immediately reminded me of Thomas Hardy’s wonderful, much anthologized poem ‘Afterwards’ – and its line ‘He was a man who used to notice such things’.

    Yes, knowing one may want to write about it later certainly gives a greater focus to a walk, makes one concentrate on the smaller, significant details.

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    It wasn’t a poem that I knew, but I tried a couple of anthologies and you were right – there it was.

    What a fabulous poem, thanks for the hint.

    By one of those strange coincidences that seem so often to occur, the next three poems in the book are ‘The Windhover’, ‘Pied Beauty’ and ‘God’s Grandeur’ by Gerald Manley Hopkins, which of course you quoted in your blog only last week. Turn another page and you find A.E.Housman and ‘Loveliest of trees, the cherry now,…’.

    (The anthology that I’m looking at is ‘The New Golden Treasury of English Verse’ edited by Edward Leeson which I bought second-hand so long ago that I can’t remember where.)

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