I took a walk down our lane to try to take photos of the colours and textures at the start of winter. Everything changes so quickly, and I wanted to capture this golden phase.
The oaks turn ochre before they darken to russet. As they catch the afternoon sunlight, they coruscate, giving flashes of light.
Different trees are at slightly different stages. This one is particularly resplendent. It seems to be lit from within.
I wanted to capture the hips and haws in the hedgerows.
They are little jewels. I wonder if they were the inspiration for Christmas baubles?
There is not only red and orange from hips and haws, but deepest blue-purple from sloes and bullaces, and shreds of gold-leaf.
Here are the Christmas lights to go with the baubles.
These fairy lights have got into a dreadful tangle.
Spindle berries remind me of Tudor (doublet and) hose, slashed to reveal luxuriant fabric beneath. I love the chartreuse and gold in the background, and the hint of a sparkle. (Forgive the blur: this twig was jittery).
Euonymus berries look almost too exotic for the hedgerows. The combination of hot pink and orange is unexpected. There is the slightest glittery shimmer.
The plumptious shape reminds me of Chinese lanterns.
I love contrasting shapes and textures in the winter hedgerow: the brittle, angular twigs with their encrustations of lichen remind me of deer antlers.
There are sudden pops of joy from the shiny red haws.
I got to the end of the lane, and decided to cross the fields. I stood on the wobbly stile to admire this swathe of brambles and teasels.
The ash, sycamores and chestnuts have lost their leaves, but the oaks hang on.
The leaves rustle. It is a drier sound than a week ago.
The field maples are brightest yellow, with starburst leaves. They lose the leaves from the tips of the branches first.
There are swags of spindle here too.
I love the dull metallic colour of these leaves. How would you describe them? Weathered bronze? Tarnished copper? Mixed-up plastercine? It is somewhere between green and burgundy.
I love all the layers of twigs in this photo. They are not as elegant as curlicues, but have their own grace. A perfect spacing.
Here’s a rather ugly burr. I have combed several of these out of the dogs’ ears this week. They wear them like hair rollers. Ruby ended up looking like a High Court Judge.
This is the dropped branch of an Oak. It struck me how many connecting strands there are in each branch or twig, like fibre optic cable. This will become a winter home for insects and beetles. The wood will break down slowly, helped by fungi and microorganisms, slowly returning nutrients to the earth.
I turned back for home. The afternoon light was gilding the tops of the trees.
There were tones of greenish-gold through to auburn and burnt sienna. The colours of warm spices.
Up in the rafters there is glistening gold. The road home was illuminated with twinkling light: sparkling; coruscating.
As we pass into winter, we have to appreciate the little things. The bright and shiny baubles, the trinkets, the gewgaws. All that glisters. All that twinkles, and reflects the light.
Is it winter with you yet? What changes have you noticed? What keeps you going through the cold months?
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