Archives for posts with tag: winter


Lonely days ahead...

The wind has turned and the cold North wind blows through the trees, suddenly reminded of winters close proximity.The still green leaves pass quickly through copper and gold to rich brown. Flurries of leaves dance across the garden, a deep, crisp, carpet; a satisfying crunch underfoot…

Now the first frost arrives; a flurry of snow, with a bitterly cold wind coaxing, cajoling, withering, drying, prying the leaves from the trees. The garden is alive with hungry birds; a bevvy of blackbirds, a flurry of goldcrests, goldfinch, and a tattle of tits. The hawthorn trees are soon stripped of the haws, the lichen and moss probed for over-wintering insects. No sooner are the feeders filled before the arguments start, the dunnocks and robins content to gather from the ground. Flossy loiters beneath them too hoping for an easy treat….

Even so, the cold dark ground sends forth shoots, the first snowdrops piercing the sunless soil. A few last flowers burst into bloom, calendula golden in the weak sunlight, roses in November and pink lilies. First long winter rains and the little burn rushes by, carrying a flotilla of beech leaves toward the sea on a rush of white water. Three white swans fly overhead and the curlew calls from the field, a sure sign the season is turning.

Inula seed heads

Stark against the muted sky, seed heads offered up to foraging finches, sunflowers submitting to the cold and rain. Dahlias never to flower need dug out and stored, but the moss-lined baskets of viola and cyclamen cheerily open new flowers, sparkling in the evening sun.

Firelight and lamplight, soup and fresh bread, casserole and stew, winter food to feed the body. Poetry, music, reading, writing, time for the soul. Times for reflection and planning and dreaming of next years summer garden. Of being organised and having an orderly garden! Aye, right! ūüėÄ

Have a good day, thanks for stopping by!

Been trying to snow; little flurries blow in on the wind and dust the ground before the rain washes it away. Small patches of brightness light up the greyness; to drive the cold winter away…

Keep warm, thanks for stopping by today!

“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator”

Mahatma Ghandi (1883‚Äď1944)

How welcome the pallid winter sun; illuminating the austere beeches;

Stately pines, forever green, sheltered home of tits and finches.

Last, lingering bronzed and brittle leaves tremble on the naked bough,

As new buds, flushed in ruddy hues, adorn the bare limbs now.

Softly falls the evening sun, staining clouds with pastel colour,

As Rooks perform the evening ritual, raucous call from naked spire;

¬†And cold blows the wind from o’er the snow-capped hills and crested sea,

Driving the feathered visitors, pilgrims from far afield, towards the bield.*

Gradually the dwindling twilight is swallowed up in falling darkness;

Last birds fly with urgent cries, to shelter in ivy covered hedges.

As the rising moon casts silver beams across the frosted lawn,

We retreat inside the cottage, to the flaming, fragrant fire and warmth.


*Bield РScottish  Рshelter or house


“The Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home”

Edith Sitwell (1887 – 1964)


Morning Chorus…

Winter seclusion –

sitting propped against

the same worn post 

Basho (1644 – 1694)

The Sound Of Water Translated by Sam Hamill

Dawn cracks open the star speckled sky, painting grey clouds in rosy hue. First birds attend the feeders, squabbling quietly among themselves. Shaggy black rooks sit observing the scene from the old mossy gate before ascending the telegraph pole to view the breaking day…


Winters arrival…

A bitter wind sweeps in across the land, fleeing the snow clad mountains, gleaming brightly across the narrow strait. Now dark in shadow, playing peepbo with the clouds…


The Promise of Snow?

Snow topped hills all around but here the land lies frosted brown, no snow, just the biting wind turning fingers, instantly, blue. Log fires are the order of the day, as the islands disappear beneath the snow clouds reappearing cloaked more heavily in winters clothes…

At last the cold has come, sodden garden now a “crunch” and not a “squish” but still the Calendula flowers, warm flecks of colour in the dull garden. Except the lawn is brilliant green as the grass gives way to moss. The garden echoes to a new bird song as twelve long-tailed tits alight upon the fir trees, momentarily appearing like a forgotten Christmas tree.

No sign of the Greenfinches this year, but the Chaffinches, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Robins, Sparrows, Wren and a plethora of various tits soon empty the feeders. Greedy hens encamp beneath to snatch up fallen seed. The bare boughs, punctuated with fattening buds glistening brightly in the setting sun, bear witness to the coming Spring….

Thanks for stopping by today – hope you are staying warm & dry too!





“There is no such thing as bad weather, only¬†different¬†kinds of good weather”

John Ruskin – (1819-1900)

Actually, we have only had one kind of weather – wet weather! Naming storms only seems to compound the misery; when did Abigail become Barney, or Clodagh end and Desmond begin? Wind and rain has battered and beaten the garden into submission. Leaves abandoned the trees, cones the conifers, and petals the last few flowers to brave the elements. We wait for the promise of better weather…

Roses in December

“God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December”

J M Barrie (1860-1937)

Or when December’s roses are pale ghosts of their former selves; shaken and scorched by bitter wind and rain…

 Colourful Calendula

“Flowers seem intended for a solace of ordinary humanity…”

John Ruskin

Easing the drabness of constant overcast days, when sky and sea merge into one and all around is shrouded grey…

Reflection in a toadstool cup

Anything can become a receptacle for rain water, spent puffballs, plant trays, all filled with water, brimming with light and reflections.

And the weather man reminds us that it may have been an unusually warm year, but one with low light levels. The first week of November was so mild that the Cabbage palm burst into flower all over again. Nasturtium and Cosmos kept flowering vying to outdo each other until “the weather” came once more.¬†Surrendering to the storms the garden stands cold, brown and wet; waiting for winter…

Still trying...

Some plants have never caught up, still trying to flower in wintry darkness. The first snowdrops push through the sodden ground, the promise of spring in dark days…

Roaring Water

The wintry west extends his blast,

And hail and rain does blaw:

Or the stormy north sends driving forth

The blinding sleet and snaw:

Wild-tumbling brown, the burn comes down,

And roars frae bank to brae:

While bird and beast in covert rest,

And pass the heartless day…


Robert Burns


November colour

Burns could have been describing the last ten days of weather. The recent squalls and storms; tearing the leaves from the reluctant trees. Stripping the pines of their cones, whipping the leaves from the birch and beeches.

Borrowed boots

Tumbling leaves scattered across the garden to settle in deep brown drifts against the tufted grass and fences. Dark grey skies heavy with rain burst open over the sodden ground. Pouring off the hill, spilling over ditches, charging down the roadways, pooling in the pastures, flooding the unfortunates inhabiting low lying ground.


Until at last a patch of cerulean blue, a gentle breeze, a momentary lull, while bird and beast forage and graze. People take stock of washed out roads, overflowing ditches, blocked culverts. The road is silent, no cars pass, closed to traffic because of a landslip further along the road. And while the road is closed, finally much-needed repairs take place; new tarmac outside the house, stripping away the ruts and potholes…


Evening brings brief respite, watery sunset and quiet breeze. Blackbirds gather in the bushes, feasting on the bright berries and rosehips. The sun may come out tomorrow…

Snowdrops at homeThe stubbornness of Snowdrops

Asserting themselves

While winter lingers on the land