Arty journeys...


Monday, 30 January 2017

Short walk at Coombe Wood.

. . . but first - having had a quicker journey than expected, I had time to spare before my appointment with the dentist. A dull and very slightly misty morning but I liked the wonky fence and church building - seen from the car park.

I was surprised to see how much the view had changed when I came out again.

The return journey took me in and out of pockets of mist but it was completely mist free by the time I reached Coombe Wood. 

The pond was clear - fish were lurking near the edge of the pond. The gardener stopped for a short chat. 

Some of the fish looked as if they were glowing. 

Clear reflections of the trees. No blue sky today.

 Azalea buds on a tangle of branches.

These flowers are coming to the end of their life but it was lovely to pause and breathe in the delicious scent that had reached me before I saw them.

Water droplets hanging like tiny diamond pendents. 

 Delicate tiny flowers 

 A veil of little beech twigs with beech nuts. 

The gardener in the distance clearing the paths. 

Tiny snowdrops pushing their way up through the bark pathway. 

The gardener stopped on his way past me to ask if I'd seen the fungus that I was standing close to. No I hadn't - I'd been so busy looking at the ground that I'd missed the big clusters of fungus up the tree.  

The gardener also pointed out a tree which had snapped and fallen down leaving just a tall sliver of bark standing which I hadn't seen.

It looked as if a creature, probably a squirrel, had been using the bark-less surface of the fallen trunk as a table but had been disturbed and had left part of its feast behind.

The gardener carried on clearing leaves.

Dainty feathery moss on an old fallen branch.

This moss is on the corrugated roof of the long shelter - it looked glittery.

Looking closer at the moss and the tiny little leafy shaped mushrooms. I've looked up moss structure online and found out that the little bits on the slender stems are called capsules. Around almost every capsule there was a tear shaped drop of water.

I got quite carried away trying to photograph the water droplets.

The droplets at the front were round and looked like miniature glass baubles.

A last look at the fish gently drifting among bare willow branch reflections

Thank you very much for joining me. 

Friday, 27 January 2017

Anticipation (Coombe Wood)

I started the day with an eventful trip to the optician - a fire drill in the middle of my visual field test - everyone had to evacuate the building - fortunately I had time to get rid of my pirate's eye patch and collect my glasses and coat etc.

Afterwards I managed a short visit to Coombe Wood - unfortunately even shorter than planned because of my silly foot.

Although the frost had all melted there was still ice on the pond.

Fish drifted about beneath the thin layer of ice and the last remains of the compressed snow that someone had thrown onto the pond. All the sticks and branches that were on the surface the other day had sunk through the thin ice.

Many flower beds have had their plants cut back hard and have been mulched.

The prairie planting area looks very small with everything so low - when everything is growing it feels much larger and I can wander along the pathways between the tall plants for ages.

Bark paths renewed? Everything is looking very tidy.

Hydrangea flowers - papery petals - partial skeletons. 

There are still masses of tiny winged seeds on the biggest acer tree.

Bright berries

Looking closer - many are quite wrinkled now. 

I found what's left of the Earthstar mushrooms this time. It took quite a bit of searching - they really are very small and well disguised among the leaves. The one on the left was dented last time but has re-inflated itself. The one in the middle that looks like Zippy from Rainbow (children's TV programme 1972 - 1992) is beyond re-inflation.

Someone has dumped a pile of rubbish in the car park. I was glad I'd parked over the road in the overflow car park. 

Irises and all sorts of other plants will be popping up in this neatly prepared flower bed.later on.

Remains of melted snow on the grass. 

A cascade of ivy at the back of this prepared flower bed. A sense of anticipation - these flower beds will be overflowing in a few months time. 

Looking at the mossy corrugated roof on my way past. Slender stems (only a cm or so high) above the mossy carpet which is interspersed with tiny mushrooms.

So much is happening underneath the surface of the soil. I couldn't help wondering what the plants whose tips had broken through the surface might have felt when the thick layer of mulch was put on top of them. Life's like that . . . you're just breaking through the surface when a load of muck is dumped on top of you. Even if it's been added to help you grow it's not much fun being in the dark again.

The flowers didn't survive the blanket of snow but the plants did - the flowers will be back soon.

Some very odd parking in the car park. A red car across two spaces - they can't even make the excuse that they couldn't see the lines because of frost/snow/leaves etc.

As I walked across to my car in the other car park just as I glanced back at the pond the sun came out and shone on the ice.

Just before I crossed the road I noticed a lovely bright splash of yellow flowers.

Thank you very much for joining me. 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Golden sunlight and ice (Coombe Wood)

Sunlight was streaming through the light mist. 

Chunks of ice sat on the frozen pond. 

Bulrushes in the sun. 

But is it ice - or is it snow - and how did it get there?

Such a clear reflection of the chunk of white. 

Not just white chunks on the icy surface of the pond but branches too. I realised that people have been throwing things onto the ice. The white chunks are the remainders of the snow constructions that I photographed the other day.

Beautifully pruned and neatly tied-in plants along the curved courtyard wall.

Another neat plant. The rose-hips the other side of the wall are peeping over the top of it.

Back to the pond - reflections broken by icy patches.

 Icy patterns next to a chunk of snow. 

The sun was lighting up the Golden Rain Tree pods against the blue sky.

The berries inside the pods used to be orange - I can see a dark shiny berry inside the distorted pod on the left.

Marmalade coloured witch-hazel looking very droopy.

The green one is looking good and is faintly scented. 

I was looking for the Earth Star Mushrooms but couldn't find them. Perhaps they had shrunk even more and become covered with the leaves that surrounded them.

 Looking up at the wispy cloud through the trees. 


Snowdrops beginning to push their way up. 

Not many orange berries left on this tree now. 

Light shining through clusters of seeds. 

And back to the pond again - rippled ice sparkling in the sun.

I wonder if anything will be left of these when I go there again in a few days time.

Thank you very much for joining me.