Saturday, 31 December 2011

the woodland through the year

woodland through the year

In this last post of the year, I have gathered together some of the pictures from my little project to photograph this woodland near my home each month throughout 2011.

Seeing the photographs together shows the changes in the trees,  leaves and plants during the changing seasons. Also the difference in the light from the low slanting sunlight in the winter months to the deep shade when the sun is blocked out by the dense canopy of leaves in summer.

canopy through the year

I love how photography captures moments in time and enables me to look back and notice the changes.  I am already thinking about doing something similar in 2012.

The full series of posts are tagged "woodland year"

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful new year.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Wrapping paper

The red and white tablecloth in the picture was embroidered by my great aunt and I use it every Christmas. So much work went into embroidering it, it seems a shame that it has only ever been used for a few days each year.

This year I photocopied a corner of the cloth using my printer and made some very individual wrapping paper. Of course this only works for small presents unless you have access to a larger photocopier but it is fun to do.

My great aunt died about ten years ago when she was over ninety. I don't suppose she could have imagined that I would be photocopying her tablecloth to make my own wrapping paper but her generation were used to make things for themselves and I think she would have approved.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Woodland - December

Yesterday was a bright sunny day, amidst all the recent dismal wet and windy weather, so I decided to take photographs of the woodland in December.

Almost all the leaves have fallen now and many of the plants have died back leaving a low covering of brambles.

There is a much more open, airy feel and the sun can reach down to the ground again. The small stream is flowing, sparkling in the sunlight.

Even the moss on fallen tree trunks can catch some sunlight.

Looking up into the canopy, there are few leaves left to fall and the sky is visible once more.

There is one small change since last year, looking closely near the centre of the photograph above there seems to be a nest which was not there when the picture below was taken last January. There must have been a lot of activity in the tree tops over the summer all hidden from view by the foliage.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A quiet December

My December is very quiet at the moment. When my family were growing up this was one of the most hectic times of the year, full of baking, end of term activities and Christmas plays and parties.

This year with my husband in America for a couple of weeks and the boys away at University I can hardly believe its December - its so quiet and peaceful. After all the years of hectic "busyness" it makes a nice change. It is lovely that when I come home at the end of the day, I can lock the doors knowing that I am tucked up warm inside and don't have to venture out at all.

In just over a week the whole family will be home and then I will decorate the house and everything will be busier and noisier. Until that time I am able to quietly wait for Christmas. Outside in the garden last years Christmas tree is also patiently waiting for the festivities to begin.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Woodland - November

Walking through this little wood in November I was struck by how light and open it felt. Many of the trees have lost their leaves.

This hazel which still has many green leaves is covered with a sprinkling of yellow leaves from the field maple,

while elsewhere in the wood the hazels themselves are a mixture of yellow and green

Autumn is the time for funghi and there were many growing on the woodland floor.

Lastly, looking at the canopy, there are several trees that have lost all their leaves. The last few days since I took these pictures have been very windy so I expect that there are even fewer leaves remaining on the trees now.

November jam making

This week I defrosted the juice from the redcurrants picked back in June 

and from the crab apples picked at the end of August

combined them and added sugar at the ratio of 1lb sugar to 1pint of juice

and made some very pretty coloured jelly. It was nice to have the smell of summer in my kitchen on a grey November day.

Monday, 21 November 2011

A day in London

Saturday was our wedding anniversary and we decided to treat ourselves to a day out in London. We took our book of walks in London and decided it was perfect weather for a stroll around Regents Park and Primrose Hill.

I am always surprised how tame the wild animals and birds are in London, this was the closest I have ever been to a Heron

and this squirrel was happy for me to approach with my camera. At home the squirrels scamper back up the trees as soon as I set foot in the garden.

There was some lovely planting in the formal part of the garden,

then we crossed over the canal

and walked past London Zoo where I got a good view of these two giraffes.

Then up to the viewpoint on Primrose Hill for some hazy views of the city.

After walking in the morning we decided to take it easy in the afternoon with on a boat trip on the Thames.

It was a perfect day for sightseeing, bright sunny and warm enough to sit out on deck  but without the crowds of the summer. We passed Traitors Gate and the Tower of London

went under Tower Bridge

passed Canary Wharf

and some very exclusive apartments

until we reached Greenwich. The daylight hours are short now and we didn't have much time to explore Greenwich before the last boat back.

We had time for a cup of coffee before coming back up the river to Westminster just as the light was fading.

The photographs are poor because of low light, boat movement and reflections from the windows (too cold to be outside by then) but they do show how magical it was as the daylight faded and the lights of London appeared.

Friday, 11 November 2011

golden silver birch

The woods near us are managed plantations of Scots Pine. In some of the older parts where the trees have been thinned, self seeded silver birch saplings have grown.

A couple of days ago as I drove home past the woods, the birches seemed to be almost glowing golden in the low late afternoon sun.

Once home I grabbed my camera and wandered through the trees trying to capture the magic of the moment

the mix of green and yellow leaves

lit by the setting sun.

The leaves are falling, more every day and soon the yellow will leave the woods for another year.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Supporting Wovember

One of my favourite blogs is needled. Kate Davis writes wonderful posts about all aspects of textiles but especially wool and and is a talented designer producing beautiful knitting patterns.

I have been following her recent posts about the meaning of the term "wool". I like to wear natural fibres and I have been frustrated to find that garments labelled as lambswool are not actually 100% wool but a mix of wool and acrylic. What I hadn't realised until I read this post was that some garments are labelled wool when they contain very little or even no wool.

It seems that the term wool is no longer used for yarn produced from the fleece of a sheep but is used to describe any soft yarn that can be knitted or woven and therefore many "wool" garments  are not wool at all.

To bring attention to the misleading nature of the term wool and to endeavour to bring back the original meaning of the word, i.e. made from the fleece of the sheep, Kate together with Felicity Ford have launched Wovember. You can read more about the project here

To support Wovember, I have signed the petition and I will be wearing lots of woolly clothes all month. November which can be a bit grey, damp and chilly in the UK is the perfect month to wrap up in wool and I will be choosing from my pile of handknitted wool jumpers and cardigans.

I also have a range of scarves to choose from although not all are 100% wool, there is a little bit of mohair/silk blend and a cotton mix in a couple of them.

I will of course be wearing socks all month but these are all a 75%wool/25%acrylic mix which I find wears much better than pure wool and these particular ones have been through the washing machine many, many times!

Wovember is not against wool mixes and blends or even against fabrics with no wool content just that the labelling should be accurate and not misleading.

If the label says wool then it should have come from a sheep.