A November Garden

Dew laden spiders webs on yew (2)

The garden has been quietly putting itself to bed for the winter. I’m a bit reluctant to tidy too much away, as dead stems provide shelter for a plant’s crown as well as a winter home for mini-beasts. Even hibernating snails are worth mollycoddling (though once I would have thought myself nuts) as they provide food for Medge the Hedge, who, incidentally, hasn’t gone into hibernation yet. Since buying a HotBin composter last year I’ve had significantly fewer slugs and snails, but that’s for another blog.

goldcrest

I’ve been delighted to see a pair of goldcrests in the garden recently. They’ve been hanging around the conifer at the bottom of the garden near the birdfeeders – not so much for the seeds (they’re mainly insectivorous) but for the company of other small birds that frequent this area. The goldcrest (or kinglet) is the UK’s smallest bird – about 3.5 inches – and makes a wren look bulky in comparison. Although they are not overly timid and will flit around me quite nearby when I’m in the garden, I’ve not been able to get a good photo of them. So here is a photo of one from a Glasgow community website, GOW Community, which illustrates its diminutive size perfectly.

sparrowhawk garden nov 2015 001crop

At the other end of the scale what should be perched in the tree this morning (28 Nov) but a juvenile sparrowhawk. The little birds were keeping a low profile and the hawk soon flew off in search of more careless prey.

Farmers market

When I’m working at the gallery on Saturdays I always visit the farmers’ market in Waterstone’s car park. Big and buttery Eccles cakes are a must for me and Kai, as are Grasmere Farm’s sausages, who have perfected the art of making a jolly good snorker. Apples are in plentiful supply, some varieties I’ve never heard of – makes buying them an adventure. No Golden ‘Delicious’ here! Nice veggies too (with dirt), not washed, prepared, or put into sweaty plastic bags.

Farmers market 2013-10-19 (1)

Farmers market 2013-10-19 (2)

Farmers market 2013-10-19 (3)

Farmers market 2013-10-19

Every year I forage for autumnal leaves, with some vague idea of doing something artistic with them. I don’t get much further than photographing them or doing the odd watercolour. Here’s a selection from this year’s batch.

leaves oct 2015 036

Amelanchier lamarckii (1)

Amelanchier lamarckii

Pin oak leaf

Pin oak leaf

Maple (1)

Maple

Maple

Maple

whitebeam

Whitebeam

leaves oct 2015 048

Frames of reference
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4 Responses to A November Garden

  1. I just saw this photo of Neolithic footprints – https://twitter.com/DrSueOosthuizen/status/673063147830382592. It made me think of your leaves as little dancing feet! They also remind me of Hanna Tuulikki’s hands – http://blog.rowleygallery.co.uk/venation/

    Lovely post. I hope you enjoyed your Eccles cake this morning.

    • Yes, in the last picture they are line dancing.

      Hanna Tuulikki’s photos are beautiful and thought provoking. These remind me of a tree at the Snetterton motor racing circuit – famously known as Scary Tree, which has been given the Honorary Freedom of the City of Norwich in recognition of its status as a major landmark at the Norfolk circuit, helping to bring tourism into the region. Looks like it caused an accident in this photo.

      They’d run out of Eccles cakes this morning! Kai consoled herself with a Tesco mince pie – not a good idea.

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