Arty journeys...


Monday, 23 November 2015

Frost and birdsong

The weather forecast said it would be a cold, frosty and possibly misty morning. I planned to get to Coombe Wood early but unfortunately I was delayed. By the time I got there much of the frost had melted although some remained in places the sun hadn't yet reached.

As I was parking the car the gardener passed by - clearing the leaves off the path with a leaf blower.

Pockets of mist remained.

The low sun lit up the branches on the fig tree.

I could hear the loud cawing of crows but they must have all been hiding in the evergreens. I could imagine them bobbing up and down as they called out to each other in their scratchy voices.

Looking up through the almost bare branches it was lovely to see blue sky.

In the introduction to the BBC programme "Countryfile", on Sunday. these words had been used (about an area in Dorset) "...the trees are beginning to lose their cloaks of green. Before long their wooden bones will stand bare and the secrets of this woodland will be revealed." (very poetic and appropriate.)

The last of the pale yellow Birch leaves glittered in the sunlight.

The flowers in the prairie beds were still quite frosty.

Frost dotted stripy leaves.

The fluffy seed heads were still sheltered - almost every tiny hair was covered with frost crystals.

Frost crystals decorated the edges of leaves.

I heard a rustling sound and a brave robin kept me company for quite a while, bobbing around my feet while I stood as still as it's possible for me to stand while taking photos.

Looking across what had been a patch of yellow daisy like flowers - now mainly middles forming seeds and all wearing a glittery layer of ice crystals.

A few still have their petals and those that the sun hadn't yet reached still had crystals sitting on the ridges and edges of the petals and on every high point in the middle.

More seed pods wearing frosty caps on top of their heads.

This one has curled over sideways. I love the variety of colours of these seeds - from deep dark brown through to orange.

The banana plant has now been fully wrapped in its winter protection.

The plant in front of it has been hit by the frost. All the tall new growth that I photographed a week ago has collapsed.

The drooping leaves were decorated with frost crystals around the edges and along every raised vein.

I wondered who had been eating the beauty berries (Callicarpa) or if they had fallen to the ground.

While trying to photograph the mass of tiny seeds on this tree I noticed all the green buds. It does seem strange to me that buds are developing on quite a few plants at this time of year and they will have to cope with frost and snow before spring comes.  

Rays of sunshine on the leafy path under the trees.

Several blackbirds flitted low across the path. Parakeets squawked in the trees, more crows cawed, a couple of pigeons flapped noisily into the air when I got a bit too close to where they were hiding under a bush. Chirruping sounds erupted around me as little birds flew from tree to tree much to fast for me to identify. A squirrel sat on the path in front of me eating a nut. I was surprised by the amount of red there is on the head and neck of a grey squirrel - maybe it was just the way the light was shining on it.

Pockets of mist lingered in places. 

One colourful acer is taking longer than the others to shed its leaves.

It looked as if the gardener might have cleared the steps with the leaf blower.

These little flowers are coming to an end. The scent fleetingly reminded me of something enjoyable from my childhood - but the memory evaporated again before I could grasp it.

Red berries in the sunshine.

Delicate purple leaves with melting frost droplets.

One tree is only just beginning to change colour. 

Frost crystals on primula leaf (I think). 

Looking across the plants to the sundial and the yew arch

 Blue and yellow

Yellow flower in a patch of sunshine. 

Tiny leaves with a couple of frost crystals on each tip.

Ferny leaves next to the pond. 

Seed head.

Criss cross of seed heads. 

Moss "flowers".

As I was on my way to my car the council truck passed by, its rotating brushes sweeping away all the leaves that the gardener had cleared from the path earlier on. 

Thank you very much for joining me. 


  1. What fabulous photos - I'd have loved to have been at Kew today. You got some great shots of frosty plants, and I love the bright blue and yellow flowers!

    1. Thank you very much for your encouraging comment Helen. Yes it's a shame you couldn't have been at Kew for some frost and mist this morning. It was pretty chilly though - and my boots leak - so by the end of the walk my feet were wet and freezing cold. I'm still having trouble finding something suitable that I can get my feet into that will keep them dry and warm.