Arty journeys...


Monday, 9 November 2015

A breezy walk in Coombe Wood

The heron was by the pond again - it took off as I arrived and circled overhead before disappearing in the trees. I wasn't able to get a photo of it today. I think it's a strange thought that something as spectacular as a heron in flight was there just a fraction of a second before this photo was taken - I wanted to grab passers by and ask "Did you see the heron?" - of course I didn't though.

I could hear the sound of the leaf clearer and glimpsed the gardener's flourescent yellow jacket before he vanished behind the taller shrubs.

Around the corner I was looking for the berry-laden yew tree I had noticed on my last visit but first I noticed something else - different berries that I don't remember seeing before - ranging from cream to a slight blush of pink, to red.

I managed to clamber up the bank for a close up - and noticed (and felt by accident) the long thorns.

Nearby someone had left an arrangement of assorted flowers and berries next to a stone - like some kind of memorial.

I found the berry-laden yew tree (in fact I found two) and with the sun in a slightly different position than on my previous visit, I could just see the berries from the path - but I really appreciated the zoom on the camera helping me get a much better look.

One of the cats joined me for part of my walk, twining around my ankles and almost tripping me up. I really enjoy it that an animal with complete freedom to go wherever it wishes chooses to walk with me. (Yes I know it also chooses to walk with lots of other people to.)

I could smell the delicate lily-of-the-valley scent of the mahonia flowers before I saw them. I'm surprised they're flowering at this time of year - but have looked it up and apparently mahonias flower from November to March.

The once-pink fluffy flowers in the prairie beds are now shedding their creamy coloured fluffy seeds

The deep red and orange daisy like flowers have gone, leaving their disintegrating brown stems but there's new growth appearing at the base of every clump.

The tall yellow daisy-like flowers are mostly over and the seeds (like brown sunflower seeds) are almost ready to drop

Huge clusters of pale orange berries are so visible now because very few leaves are left on the tree.

The smaller acers have lost most of their leaves - just a few leaves remain.

More petals opening on the banana flower - soon to be cut down and the stump wrapped - protection for the winter.

Standing back and looking at the beauty berries (Callicarpa). Now that the leaves have fallen off the berries can be seen in all their glory. I've never seen as many berries on this shrub as there are this Autumn.

The breeze was making the trees sound like the swish of the sea on the shore and the canopy of leaves above me thinned almost visibly as leaves fluttered and swirled down.

A crow cackled and made clicking noises overhead in a tall pine tree

Large leaves . . .

. . . some of the leaves from this tree are enormous.

 Beech nuts

Leafy pathways

I'm still waiting to see what these will do next

These are the berries that I noticed on my last visit and wanted a closer look at. It felt a little rebellious to be walking along the gardener's pathway at the back of the flower bed, in order to get closer and have a better look.

The small acer that had been such vibrant red and orange on my last visit now only wore a few dried and crumpled leaves.

I stood under the huge beech tree and watched as its leaves floated down.

 A little feather caught on a branch and fluttered in the breeze.

Thick bunches of orange berries.

On the corrugated roof of the long shelter shiny red berries nestled in among the moss.

Papery seed heads

Magenta and purple fuchsia's looking like a fairground roundabout ride twirling around, or maybe they're maypole dancers.

Deep dark purples

Fuzzy stems and fuzzy petals. 

As I was about to leave I met the gardener heading over the road pushing his wheelbarrow, to work on the cattle trough opposite the entrance at the junction of Coombe Road and Oaks Road. I only found out recently that he is responsible for the trough as well as the whole of Coombe Wood. I wasn't surprised - because as you know already if you have read any of my blog posts before, I think Coombe Wood is brilliant . . . and that trough always looks lovely too.

Thank you very much for joining me. 


  1. Lots to linger over today, I love the purple berries, particularly. I love the trees in the wood, you can almost sense them moving in the wind.

    1. Thank you Helen. You make such lovely encouraging comments!