Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #12

For me, November and December are the harshest months. The days constrict to just a few hours and all light seems to get sucked from the air. We are left with a dull pewter greyness that seems to invade my soul making me feel dull and joyless. I look for anything that casts a precious light into this bleakness and was pleasantly surprised to find some cheer on my December stroll.

A bad hair day
A bad hair day

Date: December 06 2015
Weather: cloudy and mizzling
Temperature: Mild (14°C)
Time: 14:00 – 15:45 PM

The linden (lime) trees were in a sorry state, only a few golden leaves hanging on after all the recent gales, their whippy branches resembling some sort of alien creatures. The benches empty, despite the unusual warmth of the day.

Ludlow Castle (inside)
Ludlow Castle (inside)

A quick peek through the gates of the castle and a view you haven’t seen before from this angle. In the background you can see a motor-home parked on Whitcliffe Common and from here it looks quite close. No notion of the narrow gorge where the River Teme flows through. The stonework looks oddly textured and coloured today.

From Dinham
From Dinham

Down by the river the heavenly sight of the Mahonia with its  bright racemes of blazing yellow flower and smell of lily of the valley cheered me up no end as I approached Millennium Green.

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Viburnum Tinus was also in flower, the pink buds opening to white flowers contrasting with the blueish-purple summer berries. A delicate vanilla-like fragrance fills the air around the shrub.

The ducks (mallards mostly) were busy courting and I watched two pairs as they bobbed up and down in turn, getting closer and closer to each other after each bob. I have never witnessed this courtship before.

Yellow Wagtail
A Grey Wagtail

At the same time a pretty grey-wagtail, which is more colourful than its name suggests with slate grey upper parts and distinctive lemon yellow under-tail, dipped her way around the pebble ‘beach’. The water level was high due to rain over North Wales, but not as high as I had expected, though evidence of mud on the pathway indicated that it had been higher recently.

Dinham Weir
Dinham Weir

And gold and amber shades still exist among the trees.

Heading along the Breadwalk in the dampness I came across someone with a drone taking photographs of the river. I was tempted to wave.

Finishing the walk along Lower Broad Street I was pleased to find some signs of Christmas before the dullness of the afternoon descended in to darkness.

And a final look at those berries/cherries that have intrigued me all year-long! (I think the strange yellow circle in the photo is a reflection from the traffic lights)

Edit: January 2016 – In an effort to try and establish what this tree is I picked one of the fruits and took it home to dissect it – finding apple pips in the centre I can conclude that it is in fact a crab apple!

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The Cardinal has decided to have a photo project going throughout 2015 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Find a location near your home, take somewhere between 5-20 photos and post them in a gallery in your blog. Continue to do this every month. The idea is to capture all the changes: the seasons, the weather, different times of the day, some night photography perhaps?

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Heyjude

I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

47 thoughts on “Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #12”

  1. Lovely photos Jude 🙂 The short days must be quite a challenge – I know our daughter in London really notices it when the days draw in. The temperature seems quite mild though for December 🙂

      1. Yes I do remember the greyness – we haven’t visited during winter for over 10 years for that reason. We usually come over in spring when the days are getting longer. I hope you have a very merry Christmas though in spite of the weather 😃

        1. Oh, yes, spring is definitely the best time although autumn can also be nice. Just not as long a day. Even though I moan about the weather I do actually prefer Christmas in the northern hemisphere, it is a welcome light in the midst of the darkness 🙂

        2. I love autumn too Jude and yes Christmas in the northern hemisphere is a special time. Have never quite got used to a warm Christmas! My girls though think it is strange to have a cold one! Perth is lovely at present – all month it has been cooler than average it’s about the perfect temperature at the moment 😃

  2. This series seems to prompt your best writing – you capture the onset of winter ennui very nicely. I love the willow over the weir photo, and the splashes of colour in the townscape dominated by the cathedral (?)

    1. I was surprised by how warm it was out, even though dreary, and how much colour there was. Still leaves on several trees, though the wind over the last week has pretty much finished them off. I still want a frost, but I have photos from a couple of years ago that I might post, just to let everyone see how pretty it is. Oh, and although called the “Cathedral of the Marches”, it is a Parish Church.

  3. That header photo is amazing. Oh that I should one day have such photos from my camera…

    You’ve written some beautiful words too, Jude, to accompany your always fabulous photos. It occurred to me, though, that you are very lucky to have Christmas fall in the middle of that cold and greyness to bring a bit of colour and brightness. For us, the middle of winter is just the middle of winter and we must just suffer through it.

    1. I’m not a huge fan of Christmas since the kids grew up, but it is a lovely splash of brightness in the gloom. I like to think of it more as a pagan feast to celebrate the winter solstice 🙂

    1. That willow is weird, it is the colour you expect in spring, but then everything is weird at the moment. I’m sitting here in a T-shirt! And my hyacinths are about 6 inches high, when usually they are not even breaking through the soil yet! If we have a cold spell these plants will suffer.

        1. Just saw some pictures from Kew garden where magnolias are budding! As the gardener said, I wonder what will be left to flower in spring?

        2. Magnolias already – oh dear, that doesn’t bode well for them to look wonderful in the spring. I’m keeping an eye on my hibiscus bushes – they are normally later to bud than most of my other stuff, so if they start sprouting then I think all will be lost!

  4. Your header photo is stunning Jude, and I’m glad that your walk brought you some winter cheer. I can’t stand this mild weather, it’s unnatural, daffodils have been blooming here since early this month. I hope you haven’t had too much trouble with the rains, nothing but wet and grey here…

        1. Just been over to read about the new version and I rather like that idea as I hope to be moving some time next year. Maybe once I have moved I will revert to the original format. Whatever, count me in!

    1. It’s a lovely bush. If it would stop raining I’d like to go back and get a few more photos, the mahonia should be open more now too. Have a good Christmas 🙂

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