December 11, 2016

Winter Glows

Amazingly despite all the extremes of weather we have been experiencing some trees, oak and beech are still hanging onto their leaves. Even the roses are still blossoming, but the latest fierce frosts will soon put a stop to that.   But behind every fallen leaf is an awaiting bud. No wonder we all talk and obsess about the weather because we have so much of it in such short periods of time. It is such a challenge knowing what to wear when going out for a whole day when there is so much fluctuation.  Daffodil bulbs came through 6 weeks ago.

Oak leaves

Two weeks ago we visited the Port Sunlight River Park conservation site. 

This is a reclaimed waste landfill site overlooking the Mersey Estuary.  It was a wild grey very windy day but the area was still fascinating to explore.  We were fortunate to be guided by the Warden who could give us detail on the sites very short history.  It is going to be a difficult site to develope as it stands on household landfill and toxic dredging from old docklands along the river,  under shallow topsoil.    Despite these drawbacks nature is tenacious and there was considerable flora and fauna to experience  even during this extremely dreary dark day.   Sadly we found a dead young hedghog  that have succombed to the cold overnightIt was very unusual to see one out and about at this  time of the year when they should be in hibernation for the winter.

Jacob Sheep
It is lovely to see the sheep back in their over wintering grazing ground.  This is a great time of year to take a walk around the fields and  make some new acquaintences.  Coming upon such a rare breed was a considerable surprise.  Jacob Sheep are the one of the oldest breeds from the Middle East, probably brought over to England by the Romans.  Modern breeds of sheep eminate from Jacobs.

Noticebly  Rowan trees have been extremely abundant with berries this year which has provided some super opportunites for photography over the past few weeks.

The berries are getting quite thin on the branches now and only the last bunches on the limp branch ends are left, so they are getting progressively difficult for the heavier birds to reach.

The light is wonderful at this time  of year for taking atmospheric photos as the sunlight is so low and the days so puntuated with wet, foggy and sunny weather all in the same few daylight hours. Although sitting in the deepening gloom in the coffee shop belies this today. 

A Christmas Blessing to everyone