Arty journeys...


Friday, 30 December 2016

Mist, dripping trees and unusual fungus (Coombe Wood)

A dull morning with thick mist. I had said almost 2 years ago that I wanted to take photographs at Coombe Wood in all weathers, so I headed out again.

A chance to look at the berries by the pond - yes they are holly berries - they must turn orange before turning red.

 Tall grasses in the mist. 

 Leaves on a bench. 

Some of yesterday's thick frost still remained in places.

Golden rain tree with its halo of pods. 

 Smoke from the chimney adding to the mistiness. 

New shoots pushing up through leaves and a scattering of berries.

This small tree is well decorated with fallen pine needles and loops of spiders web threads.

How different these trees look today with no sun to light up their tops.

Acer with an abundance of winged seeds. 

As I passed the marmalade coloured witch hazel I wondered if the lime green one had begun to flower yet.

Red stems became a pink tinge against the mist shrouded background.


The trees were dripping. and everything felt damp.

Yes the lime green witch hazel is now flowering. 

I went to look at the big mushrooms. They still aren't as big as they were a couple of years ago and there aren't as many. Last time I saw them they were saucer sized - this one has turned up at the edges. . .

. . . creating a bowl like structure . . . 

. . . which was collecting anything that came its way - leaves, pine needles and a piece of cellophane.

If I hadn't made a point of going to look at those big mushrooms I wouldn't have seen these. I didn't know what they were - I'd never seen one before. Like a mushroom flower, they have spherical structure in the middle which was about the size of a ping pong ball..I thought the middle would be hard and touched it carefully - I was surprised to discover that it was very soft and squashy.

There were more . . .

I looked them up when I got home and discovered that I had seen Earthstar mushrooms. Apparently young ones look like puffball mushrooms - but as they mature the outer layer splits open in a star-like manner revealing pale sphere which later darkens and the spores will be ejected from the top.

If I'm not mistaken these are the first signs of the hellebore buds. 

Red stems standing out against the misty background.

Getting closer - spiteful thorns. 

Looking across the lawn towards the sundial at the other end - not visible today.

Through the damaged hedge where the branch from the big beech tree fell a while ago.

Big beech tree - uneven now such a large branch is missing. 

I don't know how any of these tiny mushrooms have survived in the middle of the bark covered path, specially as the little clump of snowdrops at the edge of the path has been trampled flat.

It would be so easy to stand on these by accident - they're so tiny they're almost invisible.

Strange item in the middle of the path - probably a bulb - perhaps dropped there by a squirrel or bird?

It looks a bit nibbled at the end. 

The mist was still quite thick.

Back to the other mushroom that I photographed yesterday - the one I said looked like a cushion with piping around the edge. I wanted to see if there really was a green shoot growing out of it or if it was just the angle of yesterday's photograph making it look as if something that was growing behind it was growing out of the top. Here's my answer. . .

Looking back to the yew arch and sundial. 

Plants near the pond. 


Very subdued reflections today. 

As I was going back to my car I noticed a spiders web which looked as if the spider had dropped a few stitches.

  Thank you very much for joining me. 

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Bright frosty morning walk (Coombe Wood)

A cold but bright frosty morning. There appear to be orange holly berries by the pond. I didn't think holly berries were this colour - I need to look closer next time to see if a branch of something else is pushing through the holly.

The frost is more developed on certain plants. 

One of the little neat mushrooms - like a little cushion with piping around the edge.

A dustbin lorry drew up next to the railings changing the reflections in the pond.

Frosty prairie beds. 

Thick frost on the bark paths between the prairie planting. 

Frosty footprints.

The paths were white with frost and very slippery. 

 Arching stems of fluffy grass seeds

Crinkly ones like little explosions.

 Frosted leaf veins 

Sunlight breaking through high up in the trees. 

White heather and a frosted leaf. 

White heather. 

Melted frost giving a watery gloss to the leaf. 

A single leaf had landed on the step to the broken water fountain - looking like an exhibit on a plinth.

Marmalade coloured witch hazel flowers.

Sunlight at the top of the trees. 

Frosted leaves.


Interesting frost pattern on an old tree stump. 

The remains of a couple of wild carrot seed heads. 

The unidentified plant in the wild flower area - these may look fluffy but they have vicious hooked spikes.

A winged seed on the old sun dial - like a sycamore seed but with a much longer narrower seed compartment.

Again I wonder how these survive such a harsh frost - but they do.

Frost crystals. 


Frost beginning to melt. 

The sun was on this flower bed - the red flowers seem happier than the purple ones at the moment.

A wonderful mixture of contrasting colours and textures reflecting in the still water of the pond. . 

Pulling back a bit to include the reflections of the railings.

Further round - ghost-like fish swimming among the reflections.

Sunlit bulrushes. 

A bright green shrub seemed even brighter in its reflection.

At home again - the bird bath was frozen in a strange pattern. I thought the middle had melted but it was all frozen solid. Clear ice in the middle and white heavily patterned ice around the edge

The water butt had fragments of ice floating on the surface which distorted the reflections. 

A closer look at the ice patterns on the bird bath. 

Miniature mossy landscape around the edge. 

Thank you very much for joining me.