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.