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?

I aim to bring a little bauble of joy into your busy day.  If you would like to make a little welcoming niche, then click on the ‘Follow’ button at the bottom of this page.  You will receive an email link each time I post.  

49 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful photos as always, Ali. I am totally with you, it’s so important to find light and colour to lift the spirits at this time of year as we start to lose the light so rapidly. Give me your lovely walk over Christmas shopping any day! Aren’t spindle berries the most incredible things? They always strike me as impossible somehow with that unusual shade of pink and colour clash – nature boldly doing its own thing in style!

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Lis. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated Spindle berries before. Maybe it’s a bumper year this year, or maybe I’ve been unobservant!

      1. They really aren’t that common though, are they? Certainly not something we saw in Shropshire / mid-Wales, I only really became aware of them properly when we lived in northern France. So beautiful, though – and you’ve certainly captured them this year! 🙂

      2. Ali says:

        I’m seeing them all over the place now! It’s like when you’re pregnant you see pregnant women everywhere. Weird analogy, I know, but you know what I mean!

  2. The berries are like Christmas lights and baubles. You have an amazing imagination. I would never have thought of the similarities

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you! I don’t feel quite right saying thanks Piglet, but thanks, Piglet!

  3. Emma Cownie says:

    Those Euonymus berries are amazing.

  4. Linda Casper says:

    Ruby looking like a high court judge. Love it!

    1. Ali says:

      It was that or Hilda Ogden!

  5. It is definitely winter here, we have snow. Beautiful pictures, I especially loved the berries but the burr was rather pretty. The burst of colors are gorgeous!

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, the burrs are structurally quite impressive. And I can vouch for their effectiveness with animal seed dispersal!

  6. Sue says:

    I’m glad I found your wonderful blog; the photos and your poetic musings enrich my own walks in nature.

    1. Ali says:

      That is really lovely to hear, Sue. It’s exactly why I write this blog. X

  7. Rupali says:

    Lovely autumn colours Alison.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Rupali.

  8. Lovely photos Ali. I love all your berries – what a variety you have. They shine when little else is left. I enjoyed all the color you have left. So much prettier than here. Have a lovely Sunday!

    1. Ali says:

      I think as the leaves disappear the berries really shine. And when they go, there are some nice bright stems.

  9. Ali, such a wonderful journey of beauty from the macro to the micro and back again. Thank you for sharing your keen eye and poetic turn of phrase in this lovely post.

    1. Ali says:

      Lovely to have you here to share your observations. X

  10. Susan Beard. says:

    Great set of photos Ali. Thanks.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Susan.

  11. Thank you, Ali. I enjoyed this country walk with you. Jittery branches, eh? Actually, it’s your use of depth of field that forces me to focus on the object — bauble, berry, leaf — right in front of me, just like natural eyesight. And maybe you’re right about berries as the first baubles for decorating our Christmas trees!

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Jo, you are very generous.

  12. Tish Farrell says:

    So beautifully bedecked, Ali – this post and your byways.

  13. Heyjude says:

    So much nicer than the unnecessary fir tree. Nature in winter is beautiful if you take the time to look, as you surely have. Lovely photos of your neighbourhood Ali.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Jude.

  14. It really is the final chance to capture all this beauty before more change arrives. Love all the autumnal colours and light that you have caught. Just beautiful.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Alison. X

  15. bcparkison says:

    That has got to be the most delightful path to take a strole throught the fall colors. Womderful.

    1. Ali says:

      Aw, thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. X

  16. More great photos! I asked my husband what he’d like for his birthday last week and when he mentioned ‘macro lens’, I immediately said yes – I think you may be responsible!!

    1. Ali says:

      Fab! So much pleasure to be had! Do you get to share it?

  17. Eliza Waters says:

    Walk a lovely afternoon amble – thanks for taking us with you!

  18. “golden phase” – love it!

  19. Beautiful photos and such apt descriptions – I liked the parallels you’ve drawn to Christmas decorations. And that lane – it just invites you to walk down. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Beautiful photos as always Ali 🙂

  21. Angela says:

    This post was achingly lovely.

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Angela. X

  22. M.B. Henry says:

    Such beautiful pictures – wish I could walk down that lane in the first picture!

    1. Ali says:

      It is a lovely lane. We are lucky to
      live where we do. X

  23. germac4 says:

    Lovely autumn photos… I often think autumn trees look as if they are lit from the inside..

    1. Ali says:

      Yes; it is hard to capture their luminosity.

  24. You use words so well. Also, as I look back on my year and how much more time I have been spending outside, I know your blog is one of the things that motivated me to do that. Thank you. What a gift.

    1. That is so lovely to hear. Thank you Shelly.

  25. Such gorgeous colours. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It is my pleasure! The colours were a treat.

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