Finale of the Camperdown Elms

For the past 12 months, I’ve been documenting the Camperdown Elms of Old St Pancras churchyard. The architectural impact of these diminutive, elderly trees differs dramatically through the seasons from a veiled netting decked with hop like flowers, followed by a dense, lustrous-leaved umbrella. The foliage turns sunshine yellow in Autumn and finally falls at the onset of winter, revealing the bare bone structures of concertina contortions.

It is this gothic appearance which gave rise to my naming them after the three sisters of fate:  Clotho, who spun the thread of life; Lachesis, who measured the length; and Atropos who ended the life of each mortal by cutting their thread. This is their finale:-

And many a gnarled trunk was there,
That ages long had stood,
Till Time had wrought them into shapes
Like Pan’s fantastic brood;
Or still more foul and hideous forms
That Pagans carve in wood!

Thomas Hood – The Elm Tree

And with a reminiscent glimpse of the Camperdown elms throughout the year, my thanks go to Lucy@LooseandLeafy for linking together 2012’s Tree Followers

collage of camperdown elms, Old St pancras
collage of Camperdown elms of Old St Pancras churchyard



10 thoughts on “Finale of the Camperdown Elms

  1. They are very fine. I rather lost interest in my horse chestnut, shamefully. It had periods of intense interest followed by periods of staying very much the same. Need to look harder probably

  2. Such atmospheric pictures – and the three sisters connection adds a darkly extra dimension. I’ve never managed to move on from one tree to another. Once I’ve started watching, I’m continually drawn back. It’s an odd attraction because few of the trees I’m familiar with change very much from year to year. Looking forward to learning what you will be following in 2013.

    1. am so attached to these trees that I’ve had difficulty choosing another but will put my 2013 tree up very soon and link to you Lucy – thank you for continuing to be the tree hub 🙂

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