Friday, 19 April 2013

A-Z Challenge - 'Q'

My A-Z posts this year are based on my garden – flowers, animals, the birds and the bees, butterflies - with a bit of poetry thrown in. For some letters I am expecting to cheat somewhat – wishing they were here.

Q – Quail, Quercus

It’s queer that I quailed when I came to ‘Q’ as although I could find no connection in my garden, I remembered the one British bird that qualifies.
Quail (A Pet!)
I wandered out one rainy day
And heard a bird with merry joys
Cry 'wet my foot' for half the way;
I stood and wondered at the noise,

The quail is not a common bird but it often appears, and so do its eggs, on restaurant menus. In many countries it is still hunted which led me to this verse:

I remember we used to have quails here,
Whose peaceful morning calls would evoke
From me a childish bout of smiling and giggling,
And just to be polite, I'd return the call.

If you are wondering about what Quercus stands for then perhaps this photo will help you make the connection.
Oak Trees (Growing at field boundaries)
  Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

There is a small wood that I pass most days of the week and it contains a number of oak (Quercus) trees. As they are not readily accessible I have a limited numbers of photos of them and then not the whole of the tree.

Oak Tree Leaves (April 2007)
I don’t seem to have visited the wood in time to get a picture of the acorns.
Quercus robur - foliage and acorns
However in November 2007 I did find these:
Oak Apples
Oak apple is the common name for a large, round, vaguely apple-like gall commonly found on many species of oak. Oak apples range in size from 2–5 cm in diameter and are caused by chemicals injected by the larva of certain kinds of gall wasp. They are formed after the female wasp lays its eggs in developing leaf buds and are a source of food for the wasp’s larva.


  • Quail (pet) – Samar; CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Oak Trees – Evelyn Simak; Geograph project collection; CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Oak foliage and acorns – Wikipedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0


Jo said...

Of course the fact that we eat quails and their eggs would account for their scarcity. Lots of quail in North Carolina still.

Hope your shingles are getting better.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. love the Oak and all it contains .. a little (big) empire of its own!

Quail is good bird to come up with ..

Cheers Hilary