Find the Fault unplugged

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)

Recently The Ranger was walking in the delightful Newport Cemetery. Graveyards are almost always good places for wildlife as well as reflection and commemoration, and Newport is no exception. Home to wasp spiders, ants, wasps and nesting birds, it’s an enjoyable stroll at any time of the year. Here’s the central path, gently mossed with its splendid yew avenue, taken last spring just as the big beech was coming into leaf:

Yew trees, Newport Cemetery

But this time, I noticed that something odd on my journey – and I exclaimed to my companion, The Cat, “It’s like a real life find-the-fault!”. So I decided that the eagle eyed Ranger readers had honed their skills enough on cartoons, and as a short intermission I present the first (and probably the last) real Find the Fault. Read on to see what I saw – and see if you can find the fault! Just like the drawings you’ll need to look pretty carefully. Rules just like the real one – leave your suggestions in the comments.

Path at Newport Cemetery

This is a bit further up the same path. Can you see anything odd yet? This first picture is pretty tough but I’m starting mean as I’m not underestimating the acuity of you eager fault-finders. There’s a second picture available as a better clue if nobody gets it.

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

11 thoughts on “Find the Fault unplugged

  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    Virtual Ranger – you deserve Anorak of the Year award for noticing that!!

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    Well, a yew isn’t a conifer as you obviously spotted (although it’s surprising how many people think it is).

    However Darren has it almost exactly right and wins the point. The odd-shaped yew is a different variety. All the other yews have upright twigs and are Irish Yew (Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’). The odd one is another variety, probably common yew Taxus baccata. It has twigs that stick outwards not upwards. This only shows when the yews are not clipped and so most of the time probably goes un-noticed. It’s also a bit smaller so I reckon it was planted later.

    A half bonus point to the WG for suggesting that there is a missing yew! I know that’s not exactly what you meant but actually there is indeed one missing next to the odd yew. I have walked past this a thousand times and never noticed. But on the aerial photo it’s obvious. Maybe a calamity befell both yews, and only one was replaced.

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    There were 100 yews planted in the graveyard, one died, as (according to legend) no more than 99 yews will survive in a cemetery, so the 100th one had to be a conifer.

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    Not only a different species of yew, but a different tree altogether – a conifer rather than a yew?

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    Well, yews are very slow growing and if they were all clipped at the same time then there must be something different about the central yew. Either something about where it is growing (there will be some very good hotpots of natural fertiliser in that graveyard!!) or is it a different species of yew that is growing faster than the others?

    Reply
  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    Darren is the closest! Wanna keep guessing? Or see the next clue? For info, all these yews were cut at the same time.

    @Wildlife Gardener: actually, the avenue is continuous. You’re looking at a central island on the rhs of this pic. The avenue and the path go around it.
    @EdB – You’ve correctly spotted that my pics were taken at different times of year but that’s not the ‘fault’ I had in mind. I think that tree you mention is growing just behind the yew. I’ll have a look and check next time I’m there!

    Reply
  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    There’s rather a lot of big deciduous trees on the lhs that weren’t there on the first pic. They must be very fast growing!

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    I kinda noticed that as you round the bend to the second photo all the trees in the background are leafless but that’s way too obvious. Then I noticed that the tree in the backest background of the first photo is kinda half brown and half green. That ain’t good right?

    Or is that a still-brown tree behind a freshly green one?

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    Mmmm, the yew in the centre of the photo hasn’t been clipped like all the others.

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  • 12th May, 2012 at 6:12 pm
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    What’s happened to the right-hand row of yews? Not much of an avenue in the second pic.

    Reply

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