Monday, 31 October 2011

Woodland - October

I have seen some beautiful gold and red coloured trees in the countryside and when I went to the woodland last week I hoped to find some autumnal colour. Not really, not yet anyway.

The bracken has changed and is mostly brown now

and there are a few hazel leaves changing colour

giving the wood a pretty mottled lemon green appearance.

I know leaf colour is affected by many factors such as light level and moisture as well as the type of trees so perhaps here in the shady valley there will only be a gentle colour change.

There are plenty of leaves falling onto the ground and in the stream

and it might just be my imagination but I think the canopy is looking a little lighter than last month.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A little holiday

Last week with both boys settled at their respective universities and my husband in the middle of a three week stay in the US, I took myself away for a holiday of my own. I spent four days in Somerset. I was born and lived in Somerset until I left home at 18 but my parents then moved to Devon and although it is close I haven't really been back much since leaving. Even after all this time I was surprised by how many of the place names I still remember.

My holiday was with WalkingWomen holidays. I love walking but now that the boys have left home I find myself walking on my own and this was an opportunity to walk as part of a group which I really enjoyed.

We walked on Exmoor with views across the Bristol Channel to Wales

and where it was sometimes rather wet under foot.

We walked in wooded coombes

amongst wonderful old oak trees.

This is Culbone Church, apparently the smallest church in England that still holds services.

We saw very pretty cottages.

and we walked along the beach.

It was a very peaceful relaxing holiday, good walks, great company

and I got the opportunity to play on the beach.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Autumn colour

Photographs taken at Hergest Croft Gardens, Kington, Herefordshire.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The last weekend of the summer

We decided to go away for a weekend once our sons were both settled into their university terms. The first weekend we have spent away on our own in twenty-one years.

We were so lucky that the dates we picked were the very last days of the Indian summer. The photographs are a clue to where we stayed.....

 Hay-on-Wye, the famous town of the festival and of bookshops.

We explored the very pretty town

which has its own castle now housing a bookshop

and walked high in the surrounding countryside

to admire the views in the soft autumn sunshine.

The sheep stopped eating long enough to pose for photographs

and when we were hungry we could buy a wonderful selection of local apples from roadside stalls.

A weekend of exploring and walking, of drinking coffee and eating pub meals, browsing in bookshops and taking photographs - a lovely way to mark the end of summer.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Mixed up seasons

Following on from the last post about unseasonal weather, I spotted this plant combination.

Red geraniums (summer) and yellow winter flowering Jasmine (winter!) in bloom at the same time. Definitely a little mixing of the seasons here.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Indian Summer

So this is October, amazing hot and sunny weather, today the car thermometer registered higher than in summer.

Inevitably there has been discussion as to whether this is a manifestation of human impact on the environment, whether global warming is causing this unseasonably warm autumn. There have been autumns this hot before though, just not for a long time. There was a cluster of them around a hundred years ago and then they were just accepted as unusual but part of the natural variation.

Of all the statistics that I have seen quoted regarding this Indian Summer, the most comforting is that in the past a very hot September was rarely followed by a very cold winter. After the last two cold snowy winters a mild one would be very welcome.

At the moment though we are forecast a couple more days of hot sun so I won't be thinking of winter yet, just enjoying the fact that I am able practise yoga in the garden in October!