Just a quickie – bread baking, going out, work, work, work – and late as usual…
There’s no doubt that winter is here and, unlike last year, we appear to be having a winter rather than just a blustery mildness. I’ve had a frost – minor, but there’s been one – and we’ve had sleet, hail and even a bit of snow, and then next minute the sun shines. That’s more like it!
As a result, of course, I can now count the leaves on the baby downy birch.
Five. Well, five yesterday; today we’re probably on four but it’s a bit bleagh out there so I’m not going to double check. I’m sure it’s an optical illusion caused by the removal of leafy distractions, but the twigs seem fuzzier. It would be stretching anthropomorphism a bit too far to suggest that the tree was snuggling down for the winter!
There are a lot of this year’s fat seed heads still hanging on in there. Many are now really tatty, very obviously on their last legs, but there are still a heck of a lot:
and, also visible here, there are also plenty of slim, perky prospects for next year. Oh, and a stormy sky and the Big Brute silver birch in the background.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine died of cancer. He was an inspiration: a great naturalist, a meticulous observer and a constant help in identifying anything odd I found (he’d have been fascinated by the shield bug activity around this birch). It was not long before Christmas, and I saw a glass bauble which made me think of him immediately, so I bought it:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen Christmas baubles with winter trees as decoration before – but why on earth not?
HAPPY CHRISTMAS, NADOLIG LLAWEN,
and happy tree following to everyone!
(Part One? Why Part One? Well, because Part Two won’t, strictly speaking, be tree following – but something I found when I was digging about. Something I’d long forgotten, something… well, it will take a couple of days to put it together. And thanks to Lucy at Loose and Leafy for this meme, which has kept me blogging despite nearly giving up when my silly stalker got a little creepier than usual.)