Late Winter Colour

The sun was shining this weekend, so it was time to get out into the great outdoors and see what was growing.

Witch hazel.
Swathes of snowdrops.
I am not sure what this is, so please feel free to help me out.

Nature – Seasonal Decorations

Yesterday morning was quite chilly and I noticed that the river mist had spread across the fields in the lower parts of the valley. This made such a change to the seemingly unending flat grey steel skies and/or torrential flooding rain we have been experiencing of late. There was bright sunshine too, so I thought I’d go for a walk with my camera to see if I could capture some ghostly silhouettes of the trees. I brought my telephoto with the intention of zooming in and cropping the trees. However, as with many things in life, not everything goes according to plan. I soon realised I’d missed a trick by not bringing my macro lens too.

The trees were not as ghostly as anticipated, but the light was soft and golden and I caught a couple of rays of sunlight through the mist using a standard lens.
The diffused light made the water droplets on the cobwebs and cow parsley seed heads appear like twinkling lights.
Although the macro lens would have been infinitely better to use for definition, the telephoto still managed to produce some pretty images from a short distance.
A haphazard spider web on an old stinging nettle plant.
A cobweb lit up like Christmas lights.

Abstract I

It feels like it has been raining continuously here since September – what with work commitments and poor weather coinciding with weekends, I have hardly been out ‘in the field’ with my camera gear. So instead, I have been plodding through all the photos I took in those glorious Summer months, when I was too busy taking photos to edit the NEFs.

Here are some more unusual images which I took – with a bit of added Photoshop. The focus of most of these pictures was on plant structure.

Sissinghurst Revisited

A bit of colour and sunshine to lift the spirits in the depths of Winter.

Here are some bright red poppies – known as Papaver commutatum “Ladybird.’
A bee foraging.
Plants in the shade.
Pink foxgloves and climbing roses in the walled garden.

Green flowers – a strange sight to behold! Introduced by Vita Sackville-West to Sissinghurst. Known as Ixia viridifloria from South Africa.

Burg Eltz

This is the Eltz Forest in Southern Germany. Nothing special I hear you say, just a bit of woodland. But wait a minute …
Take a 25 minute walk down through the Mosel valley.
You won’t be disappointed with the view.
Burg Eltz, possibly one of the most beautiful fairytale castles I have ever seen. The Eltz family have been in residence there for 33 generations since the 12th Century. It is one of few remaining castles of the Rhineland-Palatinate state. The rest were destroyed in The Thirty Years’ War – one of the most destructive wars of the 17th Century resulting in 8 million deaths.
It perches precariously over the Elzbach River, with its towers and turrets. A real medieval castle. Built and extended over hundreds of years.
There are lots of interesting exterior features.
Hidden behind the shutters, is a world even more fascinating. Yet unfortunately, no visitor is permitted to photograph the interior. But if you look at this link and click on the photos, you will have a better idea and can see that the interior is equally as impressive as the exterior.
It is said to rival Neuschwanstein Castle, which is found at the end of Germany’s ‘Romantic Road.’ I will have to find out for myself another time I visit Germany!
We had a tour in German, but they do English speaking tours too.

Autumn’s end

The first meteorological day of Winter is on December 1st. Apart from a few frosty mornings where you have to scrape the car, it has been relatively mild here. There has been a LOT of rainfall however. So, whenever the sun appears on a calm, Autumn weekend day, it’s time to grab that camera and make the most of it.

A sycamore in golden light.
Delicate seed heads swaying in a light breeze.
Sunlight reflecting through leaves.
Discarded stems become home to spiders spinning their delicate webs.
Plants in hibernation.

A touch of Autumn

Yesterday, was one of those blustery days with occasional showers, but when the sun appeared from behind the grey clouds, the light was perfect to capture those Autumnal colours.

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

By Emily Bronte

Golden light reflecting off the ferns.

Tangerine orange leaves.

When the light hit these seed heads, they glowed like little lanterns.

Unravelling seed head in black and white macro.

Even the grass looked ethereal.

Maple seeds soon to drop.

Sunlight revealing veins in the leaf.