november notes

From the crimson feathers of the Japanese maple to the bright eyes lurking in the hedgerows, there are so many things to see in nature’s autumnal colours.

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de-bugging procedures

At first glance, it may look as if the rather snazzy spider in the photo is lying on her back waving her legs in the air. In fact she was dangling a few inches above the kitchen counter, suspended from the ceiling by a thread. It’s probably just as well that I saw her before I put the mixing bowl down and started measuring out the flour to make scones.

She was the second spider I had to ask to leave the house this morning. I don’t suppose either of them really fancied being outside in the rain, but I decided I’d be happier if they left the premises, even if they weren’t.
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beginnings and endings

The long hot summer is forgotten, the grass is green and straggly again and there is a distinctly autumnal nip in the air.

The horse chestnuts seem to have really suffered from the drought – rather than turning colour with the season, their leaves are all shrivelled and mottled – and I’ve hardly seen any conkers, though there are at least some sweet chestnuts.

There’s also more beech mast than I thought possible, and a fair number of acorns, too, so hopefully the squirrels should have a reasonable chance of surviving the winter.
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another day

According to the hash tags on Twitter, today is #worldphotography day, a global event that aspires “to create positive change in the world through photography”.

I should probably have been out and about in the local community taking photos of the dull grey morning, the suddenly, surprisingly, bright afternoon, or the rainbow-hued local Pride event.
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not so seedy

Last month, when I wrote the post a little focus, which featured a yellow-flowered tree in the park, I didn’t know what type of tree it was. I tried searching on Google, but had no luck.

Now, the tree is a mass of three-sided “bladdery” green fruits, tangled and jostling each other like Chinese lanterns in the breeze, and I’ve been able to discover that it’s actually a Koelreuteria paniculata – a Pride of India or Golden Rain tree.
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change of view

The shortest – or, at least, the most picturesque – route into the centre of town from my home leads through a walled garden owned by the church. It’s a wonderful space and many of the photos on this blog – witch hazel, bluebells, cyclamen, crocuses, spring blossom… – have been taken there. I’ve sat there often, sometimes to read, occasionally to write, but more often just to think and watch the birds and squirrels.

As far as I know, the garden is open every day; certainly in the two or three years I’ve lived here I’d never seen it closed. Never until this week, that is.
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a little focus

Once more I’m sitting here with a host of possible topics to write about and, once more, it’s proving difficult to zoom in on one specific idea and get a blog post written.

As I said last weekend, “When you’re stuck for something to write, it is often because you are looking vaguely around you and there are simply too many potential subjects.”

Pinning down a single idea is like trying to find the queen among the heaving life of an ants’ nest or a hive of bees, a specific car in a multi-storey carpark, one precise tree in the forest…
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