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.


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!


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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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. Those first two sentences sum up just how I feel, and something similar could well have appeared on my own blog.
    At least you found some delights in Ludlow, as always. The weir photo was very good at showing the increased water levels, branches in the river, and a hint at the flooding in the north.
    When I get fed up with this recent weather, I think of those poor souls in Carlisle and the surrounding areas, and nothing seems quite so bad.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. We haven’t really had that much rain, although it is heavy today, but we haven’t had that much sun either! It is the greyness that saps my energy. I shall be glad when Christmas is over and we can start looking for signs of spring, though there is still that ‘hard’ winter to watch out for! And yes, compared to those who have been flooded, we are good.

  2. Jude the lead photo with the reflection in the Christmas ornament is fabulous! Another tip I will add to my toolkit when looking for creativity in photography. Thank you.

  3. I’ve just been enjoying the scent of Mahonia as I walked the dogs, a winter favourite Jude! So this is your last post for this challenge, well thank you, I’ve really enjoyed seeing Ludlow through your lens, its beautiful.

    1. Not quite the last Gilly as there will be a round-up at the end of the month and if we get a frost or even snow (???) then I’ll try to get a few images. And yes, the Mahonia is lovely, I used to have one in my garden.

  4. Love your header photo, Jude. I have a similar one to post next week. 🙂 Ludlow always seems to have something to cheer even the greyest of days. Love the trees with the bad hair day. I’m sure we’re related. 😳

    1. It was actually quiet warm LD. By the time I’d got around the river I was contemplating taking off my jacket! I would like to get some frosty photos if it happens.

  5. Great pictures, some with quite a bit of colour even on those dreary days.
    Habe a wonderful advent time,

  6. Beautiful, Jude! 🙂 I hate the drab too but I think we’ve been pretty lucky this year (unless you live in the Lakes- poor Glenridding!) I love your shot Of Dinham Weir.
    Get yourself some sparklies and hang em up, even if you don’t have a Christmas tree. You can pull funny faces at yourself in the reflection 🙂

  7. The short daylight hours are really challenging … but it seems you are surrounded by pretty countryside even in December. I love the Millennium Breathing Spaces … what a wonderful name!
    … and as mild as our December has been, we don’t have any flowering plants at this time of year. What a great treat that would be!!
    Beautiful photos as usual Jude!

  8. Your header photo is perfect. I never mind the shortened days because it seems right for the time of year. What I’m not liking is the ominous warmth we’ve experienced on and off for the past months…

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