November Colour

After so many storms there doesn’t seem to be many colourful autumnal leaves left on the trees. However, there is still autumn colour to be found. The smoke tree seems to have managed to retain most of its leaves, sheltered by the conifers.Photo of smoke tree autumnal leaves

A snapdragon plant that I bought cheaply from a DIY store on account of it being nearly dead has made a remarkable recovery despite my care and has started to flower.

The last of the cyclamens are blooming on the lawn.Photo of cyclamen

The golden rod has gone to seed and is now more of a silvery rod.

Michaelmas daisies are paying no heed to the religious calendar.Photo of michaelmas daisies

There is always herb Robert to be found.Photo of herb Robert

The purple bee lavender is looking glorious, but watch for lurking spiders when you admire it.

Evening primrose is the best substitute for the missing yellow disc in the sky.Photo of evening primrose

Fox and cubs are a blaze of orange amongst the murk.Photo of fox and cubs

And of course we have the usual autumnal suspects of berries …

…and fungi.

September Scenes

Just a few scenes from the start of September. So far this month we have had some nifty clouds.Photo of clouds behind church spire

Blue skies and red berries.

A stubbly field with the trees just started to change into their autumn outfits, and half a rainbow.

Cyclamen adorn the lawn.Photo of cyclamen

An Autumnal Frost

We had the first proper frost of autumn in Hereford on the morning of 23rd November.  So I risked frost nip to the toes and fingers and took some quick snapshots.

The birds water bath was frozen over, so no bath for them this morning.

The fallen leaves with their rich autumnal colours looked striking rimed with frost.

There are still some leaves left on the trees, the silver birches looked topped with gold in the sunlight.photo of silver birches

Frost forms on solid objects whose temperature drops below freezing and when the surrounding air drops below the dew point. The Met Office explains the different types of frost that can occur. The term hoar frost comes from an old English word meaning aged and is applied because when the trees and foliage turn white they mimic the look of grey or white hair.

There is a magnificent display of berries on the cotoneaster shrubs, this will please the blackbirds no end. This plant is a member of the Rosaceae family and is related to hawthorns and rowan. The flowers provide sustenance for moths, butterflies and bees.

In England there is a character called Jack Frost who was believed to be a spirit responsible for creating the intricate patterns that frost forms on windows. In Russia there is Ded Moroz, which roughly translates as Old Man Frost. In pre-Christian times Ded Moroz used to freeze people in order to kidnap their children, so gifts were given to him to dissuade him from this unpleasant activity. Later he became rather like Santa Claus, but he delivers presents at New Year and has a female helper, his grand daughter Snegurochka the Snow Maiden. Stalin insisted that he have a blue coat so that he could not be mistaken for Santa. Thanks to Stalin’s efforts Ded Moroz became a popular figure throughout Eastern Europe, unlike Stalin himself.photo of frosty mossy log

A November Garden Bimble

As the poet John Keats informs us, autumn is the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. Very poetic I’m sure you will agree. I on the other hand just think it is too dark and chilly. I jest with you, of course I love autumn, the colours are just beautiful.photo of autumnal trees

So, what can we find by pootling around the garden in the early part of November? For one thing I am amazed that there are still so many leaves on the trees after the recent gales.

Like it’s owners, the garden has mostly gone to seed; the berries are bursting, the fungi is fun, the roses are hip and the leaves are feeding the worms.

Some confusion arises with the use of the word autumn, in the USA the term is fall. Fall is actually the original English term, from “fall of leaf”. During the 16th century this was shortened to fall. In the 18th century the term autumn, from the French word automne became trendy in England, but by then the English speaking USA was already well established and sticking with the word fall.

Berries

It seems to be a good year for berries.

These are a few pictures that I have taken around the wild bramble patch that passes for a garden. Plenty of food for the birds this autumn.