4.11.05

Winter wanderings

Mindful of the warning of the weather forecasters (..."it's going to RAIN HEAVILY this weekend...") I played hooky today and went for a long walk. It has been a mild, damp October, but now Winter is tapping his finger on Autumn's shoulder and saying 'excuse me...MY turn, I think'. The recent winds have layered the ground in a thick blanket and there is a hushed atmosphere as the woodland prepares for the big sleep...


The fungi are almost over...there are a few stragglers, and like latecomers at a party, they are a bit odd and often slimey...
















Such dramatic
lighting - we are situated many feet above sea level and the landscape spreads out beneath a bowl of sky. You can see the weather changing in the next county and watch as the winds kick the rainclouds into Oxfordshire.

The bareness of the hedgerows has revealed bright jewels...


















...but evening draws in quickly now, and the path leads homewards...to hot chocolate and home made apple pie. Some compensation for the dark and the cold.


11 comments:

Tara said...

See, these are the rambles that I LOVE hearing about. :-) I'm glad you do post them.

Plus, they infuse your life as an artist, no? So, entirely applicable!

PG said...

Hi Tara, yes, after your feedback I thought I'd go on with my 'nature posts'! And as an artist I am very influenced by the weather, especially in autumn.

So thank you for that! :)

Stuntmother said...

These were wonderful images -- and so evocative. They make me long to join you in the wild outside and the cozy inside.

District Nurse Stagg said...

Lovely to see the images of the fungi, my favourite pet interest as I'm sure you remember! Jew's Ear Fungus etc. We also have some fascinating specimens round here. It was also lovely to see AndyMac's pics of the Parasol Mushrooms as we have 2 or 3 in the field each year. I love this site..

PG said...

Hi Nursie! I owe you a loonnnngggg email. Andy thinks you sound very stern. Brrooommm brrrooommm! (I am quoting here.)

love to you all :)

District Nursie said...

Ha, yes too much nursing and no play is making made me rather earnest. Maybe I should be inspired by your wonderful web pages to dig my oils out! The MSc nursing lark is becoming rather boring-should stop soon before I start talking about the wonders of 'Statistics' in the pub! ;-} xx

Gail said...

We went for a woodland walk yesterday when there was a break in the weather, it's so good to get out and loose the cobwebs...
I think as artists it's good to have that connection. Love the photos ;)

Maya said...

I know I am going to sound like a broken record...but those colours are incredible!! (I always seem to notice colours first, sorry :( )
What are the gorgeous pink pumpkin looking things? Are they edible?

Nursie said...

Looks like a spindletree(I think, not edible)-rumour has it that they're supposed to keep witches at bay.... Is that right P? x

PG said...

Yes, it is my fovourite (but sadly inedible) berry, the spindle berry - actual size is roughly a centimetere. There used to be a Spindleberry festival -

Nature Diary by 'Redshank' (copyright Daily Telegraph)

Once again, Spindlemass is with us, when the country folk compete in collecting the largest possible quantity of pretty pink spindleberries and displaying them in traditional patterns in their cottage windows. The origin of the Spindleberry festival, or Spindlemass, is like most things in our part of the countryside, lost in the mists of antiquity.

Some old herbal books recommend spindleberries for their purgative qualities and others for their binding effect and some for both at the same time. Many country folk are addicted to them. But old Dr Higgs, who retired from practice in Bournemouth and previously in west Africa, to live at "the Hollies", an ivy-grown villa subject to subsidence at the outskirts of our village, maintains that this is contrary to reason, and that he could think of many other substances which are equally without any effect on the digestive system.

This is regarded with scorn and derision yet I often think that the traditional beliefs of the country folk, illogical as they may seem, are worth more than any rational argument.

I also found this
A decoction of the bark of this plant has strong purgative and laxative qualities. So strong in fact that it has been declared totally unsafe and even deadly by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The active ingredient is the glycoside euonymin, which affects the heart. The Winnebago used an inner bark decoction of E. atropurpurea to treat uterine trouble. The wood is hard and yellow and was used in Europe to make spindles. An oil can be extracted from all parts of the plant and has been used to make soap. (http://www.botany.ubc.ca/facilities/arboretum/UBC070.HTM)

But nothing about witches...I'm wondering if that's the rowan tree?

Nursie said...

Think you are right about the rowan tree-whoever told me must have got the two mixed up! Very interesting about the history though, I have also seen some info about ancient hedgerows and the spindle, must explain the one in our garden I have been nurturing. The wood also makes excellent artist's charcoal apparently :o] xx